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Full text of "Fire service supervision : increasing team effectiveness"

Student Manual 



FIRE SERVICE SUPERVISION : 
INCREASING TEAM EFFECTIVENESS 

QQP ;# NFA-SM-FSST 

FEM1.8:, 

F51/3/ 
student/I £ 
984-2 



August 17, 1984 




UNIVERSITY OF 

ILLINOIS LIBRARY 

M" URBANA-CHAMPAiGN 



NATIONAL FIRE ACADEMY 



Doc . 

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F HE SERVICE SUPERVISION: 
INf ' f " TEAM EFFECTIVENESS 



Increasing Team Effectiveness 



NATIONAL EMERGENCY TRAINING CENTER 0* 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2012 with funding from 

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign 



http://archive.org/details/fireservicesuperOOnati 



NATIONAL FIRE ACADEMY 



TABLE OF CONTENTS 



Pag e 



Foreword iii 

Acknowledgements iv 

Standards v 

Comment Sheet vii 

The Integrated Emergency Management System viii 

UNIT ONE: Group Dynamics 1 

Overview 2 

Objectives 3 

Course Introduction 4 

Note-Taking Outline 5 

Suggested Further Activities 23 

References 24 

Recommended Reading 25 

UNIT TWO: Communication 26 

Overview 27 

Objectives 28 

Note-Taking Outline 29 

Suggested Further Activities 55 

References 56 

Recommended Reading 57 

UNIT THREE: Motivation 58 

Overview 59 

Objectives 60 

Note-Taking Outline 61 

Suggested Further Activities 93 

References 94 

Recommended Reading 95 

UNIT FOUR: Counseling 96 

Overview 97 

Objectives 98 

Note-Taking Outline 99 

Suggested Further Activities 117 

References 118 

Recommended Reading 119 



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TABLE OF CONTENTS (Continued) 

Page 

UNIT FIVE: Conflict Resolution 120 

Overview , 121 

Objectives 122 

Note-Taking Outline 123 

Suggested Further Activities 135 

References 136 

Recommended Reading 137 

Supplementary Reading 138 

Increasing Team Effectiveness 138 

Increasing Personal Effectiveness 183 



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FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY 
NATIONAL EMERGENCY TRAINING CENTER 



FOREWORD 



The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was established in 1979 and is 
now directed by The Honorable Louis O. Guiffrida. FEMA's mission is to focus federal 
effort on preparedness, mitigation, response, and recovery of emergencies encompassing 
the full range of natural and man-made disasters. 

FEMA's National Emergency Training Center in Emmitsburg, Maryland, includes the 
National Fire Academy, the United States Fire Administration, and the Emergency 
Management Institute. This center is directed by The Honorable Clyde A. Bragdon, Jr., 
Acting Associate Director for Training and Fire Programs. 

To achieve the Academy's legislated mandate (under Public Law 93-493, October 29, 
1974) "to advance the professional development of fire service personnel and of other 
persons engaged in fire prevention activities," the Field Programs Division has developed 
an effective program linkage with established fire training systems which exist at the 
state and local level. It is the responsibility of this division to support and strengthen 
these delivery systems. Academy field courses have been sponsored by the respective 
state fire training systems in every state. 

This course, along with the Field Programs course 'Tire Service Supervision: 
Increasing Personal Effectiveness," is intended to upgrade the management skills of 
company officers so that they can improve their own efficiency and that of their 
personnel. For more intensive coverage of the topics addressed here and related material, 
students are referred to the Academy's Resident Programs management programs. 

The staff of the Training and Fire Programs Directorate is proud to join with state 
and local fire agencies in providing educational opportunities to the members of the 
nation's fire services. 



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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 



The preparation of this course was made possible through the assistance, 
cooperation, and dedication of many people. The National Fire Academy wishes to thank 
all of the following persons and organizations for their roles in the development of this 



NFA ADMINISTRATION 

J. Faherty Casey, Deputy Superintendent, Field Programs Division 
Gerry N. Bassett, Chief, Training Materials Development Branch, Field 

Programs Division 
Michael T. Mitchell, Deputy Superintendent, Resident Programs Division 



PRINCIPAL DEVELOPMENT GROUP 

Susan Hills, Energy, Management and Marketing Division, IMR Systems Corpora- 
tion, Falls Church, Virginia 
Ann Murphy Springer, Management Consultant and Fire Chief, Bodega, California 
John Cragan, Department of Communication, Illinois State University, Normal, 
Illinois 



ASSOCIATED DEVELOPERS 

Tom Lorraine, Fort Wayne Fire Department, Fort Wayne, Indiana 

Donald Wood, Fire Chief, Wayne, Pennsylvania 

Karen Zucco, Professor of Behavorial Sciences, East Peoria, Illinois 



MEDIA AND EDITORIAL PRODUCTION SUPPORT 

Donald Begg, Academic Support and Operations, Office of Management and Admin- 
istration, Media Production Center 

Susan Ewald and production staff, Energy, Management and Marketing Division, 
IMR Systems Corporation, Falls Church 



REVIEWERS 

Paul Anderson, Instructor, Massachusetts Firefighting Academy 

Robert S. Cassaday, Deputy Fire Chief, Fort Worth, Texas 

Albert J. Fekete, Assistant Fire Chief, Louisville, Kentucky 

Diane Hoskins, Director, Fire Prevention Bureau, San Diego Fire Department, 

California 
Tom Lorraine, Fort Wayne Fire Department, Fort Wayne, Indiana 

Joseph L. Donovan 
Superintendent 
National Fire Academy 

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STANDARDS 



The National Fire Academy strongly supports the standards-making process of the 
National Professional Qualifications Board for the Fire Service, which operates under the 
jurisdiction of the Joint Council of National Fire Service Organizations. 

The Academy, in its preparation of this course, reviewed the appropriate 
professional qualifications standards to determine which specific standards were to be 
addressed in whole or substantially in part. 

Those addressed in whole or substantially in part are: 

NFPA-1021 Fire Officer Professional Qualifications 

2-2.2 The Fire Officer I, given a summary of the functions of a leader, 

shall: 

(a) describe the officer's responsibility in promoting cooperation 

(b) describe how group cooperation may be obtained 

3-1 The Fire Officer II shall demonstrate knowledge of the emotional 

and behavioral characteristics of the individual or working group 
as they apply to the responsibility of subordinates and supervisors. 

3-2 The Fire Officer II shall describe how each of the following 

affects the group behavior within the organization: 

(a) understanding people 

(b) motivating the worker 

(c) handling disputes 

(d) introducing changes 

(e) gaining cooperation 

(f) supervisory cooperation 

(g) job attitude 

(h) company policy 

(i) emotional status 

(j) handling complaints 

(k) handling the problem worker 

3-3 The Fire Officer II shall demonstrate knowledge of written and 

verbal communications skills. 

4-7.3 The Fire Officer III shall identify and define two types of 

approaches to counseling. 

4-7.5 The Fire Officer III, given records or forms used in evaluating 

personnel, a summary of the methods of evaluation, and a 
summary of the common errors in evaluating, shall: 

(a) describe the objectives of an employee evaluation program 

(b) describe how the common errors in evaluating can be avoided 

(c) describe the procedures for conducting an evaluation program 

(d) describe how to plan an evaluation conference 

(e) describe how to conduct an evaluation conference 

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4-7.10 The Fire Officer III shall demonstrate knowledge of how to 

objectively evaluate and counsel personnel to encourage their 
development to full capacity. 

4-10.2 The Fire Officer III shall demonstrate the ability to prepare 

speeches on such subjects as the protection of life and property 
and home safety. 

4-10.3 The Fire Officer III shall demonstrate the ability to deliver 

lectures on various fire service subjects to community 
organizations. 



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COMMENT SHEET 

Fire Service Supervision; Increasing Team Effectiveness 



DATE NAME 



ADDRESS 



ORGANIZATION REPRESENTED 



Use this sheet to make any suggestions, recommendations, or comments. Your help is 
appreciated. Use additional pages, if necessary. 



RETURN TO: Training Materials Development 
National Fire Academy 
National Emergency Training Center 
Federal Emergency Management Agency 
16825 S. Seton Avenue 
Emmitsburg, MD 21727 



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THE INTEGRATED EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM 



The Integrated Emergency Management System (IE MS) is a long-term, all-hazard concept 
for improving the program implementation and development of emergency management 
capabilities at the state and local levels. It is a process for applying comprehensive 
emergency management concepts to "real world" emergency plans and capabilities. It 
formally recognizes the roles of the fire service in responding to the full range of 
emergencies at the local level. 

Its specific objectives are to: 

1. Save lives and protect property threatened by hazards. 

2. Reduce duplication of efforts and resources. 

3. Increase jurisdictional flexibility in upgrading the capacity to handle potential 
hazards. 

4. Integrate FEMA support and objectives with those state and local operational 
requirements. 

Viewed in this manner, it becomes clear that existing fire service programs such as the 
Incident Command System (ICS) are part of the broader concept of IE MS. ICS-IEMS 
identifies the need for "baseline" fireground command systems to provide for a 
predictable, coordinated, effective, and acceptable response to emergencies of all types 
by the fire services of this country. 

The IE MS approach recognizes that there are certain characteristics and requirements 
which are common across the full spectrum of emergencies—evacuation, sheltering, 
provision of food and medical supplies, etc. Each of the aforementioned functions 
requires an operational procedure. ICS is such a procedure to ensure all areas of concern 
are addressed. FEMA's programs are using the IE MS approach to assist state and local 
officials building capability in these areas as a basic foundation for planning, response, 
recovery, and mitigation of hazards— whether they are related to natural or technological 
disasters, resource shortages, or war-related national security situations. 

IE MS is being introduced to a nationwide network of emergency management 
organizations representing thousands of jurisdictions, not all confronted by the same 
hazards, and not all having or requiring the same capabilities. Going through the IE MS 
process, therefore, will require different levels of effort by each jurisdiction and will 
result in the identification of different functional areas requiring attention. The process, 
however, is logical and applicable to all jurisdictions regardless of their size, level of 
sophistication, potential hazards, or current capabilities. 

The goal of the system is to develop and maintain a credible emergency management 
capability nationwide by integrating activities along functional lines at all levels of 
government, and, to the fullest extent possible, across all hazards. It should be kept in 
mind that the IE MS process is a means of improving capability and is not an end in 
itself. The various steps in the IE MS process are intended to serve management at each 
level of government by providing basic information upon which reasonable and justifiable 
plans can be made and effective action taken to increase emergency management 
capability nationwide. 



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UNIT ONE 
GROUP DYNAMICS 



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UNIT ONE: GROUP DYNAMICS 
Overview 



Total Time: 2 hours, 40 minutes 

I. Types, Principles, and Stages of Group 
Development (1 hour, 25 minutes) 

Introduction to Small Groups 10 min. 

(Lecture) 

A. Three Types of Small Groups 10 min. 

(Lecture) 

B. Principles and Stages of Group Development 40 min. 

(Lecture, Discussion) 

Activity: Task Group Development 25 min. 

II. Building Effective Teams (1 hour, 15 minutes) 

A. Harmful Group Behaviors 10 min. 

(Lecture, Discussion) 

B. Positive Counterparts of Harmful Behaviors 10 min. 

(Lecture) 

C. Maintenance and Task Functions 10 min. 

(Lecture) 

Activity: Practicing Effective Teamwork 40 min. 

Unit Summary 5 min. 



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UNIT ONE: GROUP DYNAMICS 
Objectives 



Objective 1 

The participant will recognize the types, stages, and principles of group development as 
they occur in the fire service. 

Objective 2 

The participant will identify beneficial and harmful group behaviors. 



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Notes: 



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COURSE INTRODUCTION 



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UNIT ONE 

Objective 1 

The participant will recognize the types, stages, and princi- 
ples of group development as they occur in the fire service. 



Types, Principles, and Stages of Group Development 
1. Importance of small groups in the fire service. 



2. Research on fire service groups. 



3. Small group: A small group is a few people (generally three to nine) 
engaged in communication interaction over time who have common goals 
and norms and have developed a pattern or procedure for meeting these 
goals in an interdependent fashion. 

4. Nine elements needed to constitute work group: 
Easily observable group characteristics: 



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Indirectly observable group characteristics: 



A. Three Types of Small Groups 

1. Consciousness-raising groups. 
a. Purpose. 



b. Outputs. 



2. Encounter group , 
a. Purpose. 



b. Outputs. 



3. Task groups , 
a. Purpose. 



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b. Outputs. 

B. Principles and Stages of Group Development 

1. Importance of recognizing development stage. 



2. Consciousness-raising group; Development stages. 

a. Stage 1; Realization of a common group identity ("credentialling stage"). 



b. Stage 2; Group identity through polarization ("we" vs. "they" stage). 



c. Stage 3; Establishment of values for group ("what makes us special" stage). 



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d. Stage 4: Acting out of new identity (action stage). 



3. Contributing to an effective consciousness-raising group, 
a. Increase pride, not conflict. 



b. Know when to stop. 



c. Emphasize job-related positive attributes. 



4. Encounter group behavior. 

Three communication behaviors identify this group type: 
• Personal self-disclosure. 



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Group trust. 



• Empathy. 



5. Contributing to an effective encounter group. 

a. Fire groups can over-disclose. 

b. Protect new members from over-disclosure. 



c. Watch personal self-disclosure . 



Task group development— two dimensions. 

a. Social. 

b. Work. 

c. Each dimension has separate stages. 
- Develop parallel to each other. 

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7. Social dimension of task group; stages. 

a. Stage 1; Primary tension ("we all feel tense"). 



b. Stage 2: Secondary tension ("who will be leader?"). 



c. Stage 3; Role definition . 



8. Role definition in task groups (see p. 12). 

a. Task leader. 

b. Social-emotional leader. 

c. Central negative. 

d. Tension-releaser. 

e. Information provider. 

f. Questioner. 

g. Active listener, 
h. Recorder. 

i. Self-centered follower. 



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9. Task dimension of task group stages (see p. 13). 



a. Orientation. 



b. Conflict. 



c. Emergence. 



d. Reinforcement. 



e. Action. 



;0. Contributing to an effective task group, 
a. Reduce intergroup conflict . 



b. Don't expect to always be emergent leader . 



c. Strive for productivity . 



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THE FIVE MAJOR ROLES IN A TASK GROUP 



1. The task leader . The leader is the person who has emerged as the best person to lead 
the group in this situation. The emergent leader is not necessarily the fire officer in 
charge of the group, although it often is. 

2. The social emotional leader, or "lieutenant." The person who plays the social 
emotional leader handles the interpersonal problems of the group. This person is not 
the task leader, but supports the task leader in a complementary lieutenant role. 

3. The central negative . This person plays the "devil's advocate." Usually, this is the 
person who lost out in the leadership struggle. The central negative challenges the 
task leader and criticizes ideas— he makes the fire group rethink the leader's way of 
doing things. This can be a useful function. 

4. The tension-releaser . This person plays a very important role in fire work groups. 
He can make the group laugh at just the right time. The person or persons playing 
the role get the group "loose" so it is emotionally able to do good work. (Of course, 
this can be overdone and begin to block the team's efforts.) 

5. The information provider . This role is probably the most shared role in a work 
group. Members of the group who provide concise and accurate data to help the 
group solve problems are playing this role. 



FIVE MINOR ROLES 



6. The questioner . This one asks important questions that help develop an idea and its 
implications. 

7. The silent observer . This person offers nothing verbally for long periods. During 
that period, important ideas may be forming— or he or she may be withdrawing for 
various reasons. Perhaps the direction the group is taking is not to their liking and 
they feel helpless; perhaps they feel angry or rejected. 

8. The active listener . A person who shows by additions, questions, and body language 
that they follow the train of thought. 

9. The recorder . This role may be needed to keep track of key discussion points and 
decisions. 

10. The self-centered follower. The only counter-productive role, this one is played by 
an individual whose top priority is personal gain, not group progress. 



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STAGES IN TASK GROUP DEVELOPMENT 
(TASK DIMENSION) 



1. Orientation Stage . Here, group members seek to arrive at common goals, through a 
series of questions. Unfortunately, this stage takes place, in part, while the group is 
in primary tension. Thus, members are tentative about asking questions and seeing if 
everyone agrees on the goals of the group. As a result, a group can often go through 
"pseudo-orientation" because many members hold back their thoughts since they will 
have to return to the orientation stage after they get through primary tension. 

2. Conflict Stage . The conflict stage occurs when the group is trying to decide how 
they should do a given job. However, the "who should lead" problem (secondary 
tension) is going on so it's often not just an issue of what idea do we accept, but who 
suggested it. Sometimes group members are so afraid of interpersonal or ideational 
conflict, either for fear of losing their job or because they can't stand to see people 
argue, that they will agree to almost any suggestion. Such groups are generally low 
in productivity and membership satisfaction. To pass this stage successfully, the 
group must learn to challenge ideas but separate criticism of an idea from criticism 
of the person who suggested it. 

3. Emergence Stage . After a group has been working on a problem for a while, a few 
ideas survive the conflict stage. These ideas are tried out or evaluated and a way of 
accomplishing goals emerges and is developed. To pass this stage successfully, the 
group must carefully evaluate and, if necessary, modify the idea. If the idea is a 
plan for procedures the group will use on an ongoing basis (i.e., way of handling 
certain fire group problems, procedures for inspection, or procedures for writing 
"specs" for new equipment, etc.) it is necessary that the plan gets "written in 
concrete" once it is tested so that when new members join the group, they can easily 
learn the process. If the new members insist on changing the process (which they are 
less likely to do if it's "written in concrete,") the group returns to stage 2. 

4. Reinforcement. Once a group has worked their way to consensus; i.e., all members 
of the group (even the central negative) agree, the group will begin to celebrate its 
success. Lest the celebration be premature, it is wise to check and be sure everyone 
can live with the group's conclusion. If a group has solved several problems together, 
then this stage will start to look like a consciousness-raising session. 

5. Action. The group begins to carry out its task according to its plan. At this stage, it 
is possible that some "hitch" will develop and the group will be kicked back to stage 
2. Formal objectives, control tools, communication/coordination procedures, and 
evaluation mechanisms should be part of the task plan developed in stage three. (See 
Supplementary Reading, Increasing Personal Effectiveness, Unit 1.) 



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TRAINING TOWER EXERCISE 



Directions : The main purpose of this activity is to demonstrate how a task group functions 
by giving you a chance to become a task group while roles are observed. If you are an 
observer, follow directions on the form on the next page. If you are a participant, simply 
concentrate on getting your task done. You will have an opportunity to get feedback later 
from the observers and add your own observations. 

Your task is to build a training tower, using whatever materials you find in your 
sector of the room. When finished, it must meet these requirements: 

1. At least 36" taU 

2. At least 20" at the base 

3. Use at least 5 different materials 

4. Must be able to stand unassisted for at least 30 seconds at judging time. 

The instructor (or other judges) will evaluate each structure on the basis of: 

1. Strength (10 points maximum) 

2. Creativity (20 points maximum) 

3. Whether it meets the above criteria (10 points maximum). 

Note that half the points are given for creativity. Don't rush through the 
assignment— aim to wirt 



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OBSERVER EVALUATION SHEET 

Observe the discussion and put a mark under the name of a group member each time you 
think they are playing a certain role. At the end of the discussion, be prepared to say who 
played what roles, remembering that roles may be shared. 

Lead your group in a discussion of the task group roles as they experienced them. Cover 
the following questions: 

1. Do you agree with the observer's assessment of role distribution? 

2. Were roles clearly defined or shared? Did this help or hurt task achievement? 

3. Were any roles missing, or not performed very often? What was the effect of 
their absence? 

4. Overall, what helped and hurt quality of task achievement? 

5. What are the implications of the above for fire service task group supervisors? 



NAME: 

Task Leader 
Tends to goal 
set, make agenda, 
summarizes, seeks 
consensus, regu- 
lates participation 
(gate-keeping). 












Member 1 


Member 2 


Member 3 


Member 4 


Member 5 


Social-Emotional 
Encourages the 
group, peacemaker, 
supportive of 
members, supports 
the leader, 
compromises. 












Tension Releaser 
Tells jokes, helps 
make group friendly, 
provides humor when 
group has conflict. 













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NAME: 










Member 1 

Central Negative 
Criticizes ideas, 
challenges leader, 
plays devil's advo- 
cate, hardest to 
convince to test 
ideas. 


Member 2 


Member 3 


Member 4 


Member 5 


Information Provider 
Gives information, 
opinions about the 
problem. 











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UNIT ONE 

Objective 2 

The participant will identify beneficial and harmful group 
behaviors. 



II. Building Effective Teams 
A. Harmful Group Behaviors 

Five behaviors that can decrease task group effectiveness are: 

a. Too much advice-giving. 

b. Putting down group members. 

c. Taking over. 

d. Censoring. 

e. Persuasion without listening. 
Others added by class: 



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B. Positive Counterparts of Harmful Behaviors. 
Cures for negative positions. 

a. Instead of too much advice-giving ; 

b. Instead of putting down other members : 

c. Instead of taking over; 

d. Instead of censoring : 

e. Instead of persuasion without listening ; 



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TASK FUNCTIONS 

1. Initiating— involves getting things going, defining group objectives, procedures, 
problems, etc. 

2. Information-seeking— involves soliciting ideas, facts, or opinions from other group 
members on the task at hand. 

3. Information-giving— involves offering one's own opinions, feelings, ideas, or 
knowledge of the facts, to help the group attack the particular problem at hand. 

4. Clarifying/coordinating— involves interpreting or restating problems or issues before 
the group. Members will frequently find themselves talking around each other about 
a particular issue without a good understanding of what the other is trying to say. 
The clarifier/coordinator attempts to allay any misunderstandings by synthesizing 
and restating what is being said. 

5. Sum m arizing/orienting— involves summarizing or wrapping up what has been said to 
help the group reach some kind of conclusion; or it can also involve orienting the 
group to the conclusion that is coming from their discussion. 

6. Consensus-testing/evaluation— involves group members trying to see if they have 
reached a mutually agreeable solution. Frequently, it will seem like everyone is in 
agreement regarding a certain issue, but that is not always the case. It is important 
to check to make sure that everyone does agree on the conclusions and suggestions 
being offered. 



MAINTENANCE FUNCTIONS 



1. Harmonizing— involves refereeing disagreements, helping to reduce anxieties, and 
helping members bring their differences out in the open and reconcile them. 

2. Gate-keeping— involves keeping things going, keeping communication channels open. 

3. Encouraging— involves encouraging or making sure that less aggressive members 
participate and their feelings or opinions heard. 

4. Supporting— involves being receptive, warm, and friendly to other members and 
accepting their opinions and contributions. 

5. Collaborating/compromising— involves attempts to negotiate agreements between 
group members with differences of opinion. The collaborator/compromiser will offer 
solutions or comprises that don't make any particular member look bad. This person, 
without hurting individuals, will put teambuilding and group functioning above the 
feelings of any individual on the team. 



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6. Standard-setting/testing— involves making sure the group is satisfied with its 
procedures, whether or not those procedures contribute to group sharing or 
mutuality. 



OTHER NOTES ON 
BUILDING EFFECTIVE TEAMS 



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HOME FIRE ESCAPE PLAN 



Directions: Again, you are a work team. This time, however, instead of focusing on roles, 
our focus is teambuilding. Use this opportunity to practice behaviors that build team unity 
and get results. Try to avoid the negative behaviors mentioned earlier. 

You have been assigned to a work team to draw up a "typical" Home Fire Escape Plan that 
the local newspaper has agreed to print and a TV station has promised to cover. As a 
start, your group has been asked to prioritize the ten most important parts of the plan. 
Your list will determine program emphasis. 



Instructions 

1. For the next 5 minutes, silently make a list of the ten most important parts of a 
good Home Fire Escape Plan. 

2. You are to reach group consensus with the other students in your group about the ten 
ideas to be included and their rank order of importance. (1 is the most important, 
ten is the least important.) 

3. You have 15 minutes to solve this problem. 

4. Observers will comment on how the team functioned, and point out some examples 
of behavior that contributed to teamwork. As team members, you will share how 
you felt as a participant in this team. 

5. Consider your own performance in the group as objectively as you can. Refer back 
to IIA, Harmful Group Behaviors. Were you tempted to take any of the negative 
positions listed? If so, were you able to catch yourself in time to adopt a more 
positive approach? 



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UNIT ONE: GROUP DYNAMICS 
Suggestions for Further Activities 



1. Notice and classify the groups that exist in your fire department according to type 
and stage. Consciously work on increasing the effectiveness of each group in 
accomplishing its goals. 

2. In several groups you belong to, notice what group members do specifically that 
builds effective teamwork or works against it. 

3. Identify roles played in a task group in which you participate, including your own. If 
possible, ask at least one other person to keep track as well and compare notes. Use 
the data to improve group performance. One way to do this is to help individuals 
become conscious of the roles they play and of their value. Another is to note 
specific gaps— needed roles not being played— and find ways to encourage individuals 
to take them on (or add members who play them well). 

4. Discuss task and maintenance functions at the outset of a group for which you are 
nominal leader and explain that individuals can increase group effectiveness by 
carrying out these roles. Refer to them occasionally as group development 
progresses, relating them to group achievement. 



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UNIT ONE: GROUP DYNAMICS 
References 

Ernest G. Bormann, Discussion and Group Methods (New York: Harper and Row, 1975). 

Ernest G. and Nancy C. Bormann, Effective Small Group Communication (Minneapolis: 
Burgess Publishing Co., 1976). 

John K. Brilhart, Effective Group Discussion (Dubuque, Iowa: William C. Brown Co., 
1974). 

Darwin Cartwright and Alvin Zander, Group Dynamics: Research and Theory (New York: 
Harper & Row Publishers, 1968). 

John F. Cragan, "Small Group Interaction and the Fire Service," Fire Command, 38 (July 
1975). 

John F. Cragan and David W. Wright, Communiation in Small Group Discussions (St. Paul: 
West Publishing Company, 1980). 

B. Aubrey Fisher, Small Group Decision Making, 2nd ed. (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1980). 

Thomas M. Scheidel and Laura Crowell, Discussing and Deciding (New York: MacMillan 
Publishing Co., 1979). 

Marvin E. Shaw, Group Dynamics: The Psychology of Small Group Behavior (New York: 
McGraw-Hill, 1976). 



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UNIT ONE: GROUP DYNAMICS 
Recommended Reading 



Bormann, Ernest G. and Nancy C, Effective Small Group Communication (Minneapolis: 
Burgess Publishing Co., 1976). 

Explains the development of the social dimensions of a task group. 

Brilhart, John K. Effective Group Discussion (Dubuque, Iowa: William C. Brown Co., 
1974). 

This book has many practical suggestions on how to run group meetings. 

Cragan, John F. "Small Group Interaction and the Fire Service," Fire Command, 38 (July 
1975). 

Describes the three generic types of groups as they occur in fire department 
settings. 

Cragan, John F. and Wright, David W. Communication in Small Group Discussions (St. 
Paul: West Publishing Company, 1980^ 

Chapters 4, 5, 8, and 9 offer useful advice on leading work groups in organizational 
settings. 

Fiedler, Fred E. A Theory of Leadership Effectiveness. (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1967). 

A "contingency model" that shows how to adapt leadership strategy to situations is 
explained in detail in this book. 

Fisher, B. Aubrey. Small Group Decision Making, 2nd ed. (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1980). 
The four stages of task group development are discussed in detail. 



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UNIT TWO 
COMMUNICATION 



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UNIT TWO: COMMUNICATION 
Overview 



Total Time: 2 hours, 20 min. 



I. Communication Media (1 hour) 

A. Overview of Communication Process 10 min. 

(Lecture) 

B. Principles of Oral vs. Written Communication 10 min. 

(Lecture, Discussion) 

C. One-Way and Two-Way Communication 10 min. 

D. The Three "Rs" of Effective Written Reports 10 min. 

(Lecture) 

E. Nonverbal and Paraverbal Commitnication 20 min. 

(Lecture, Discussion, Activity) 

II. Adapting Communication Strategy to an Audience (50 min.) 

A. Primary Adaptation Skills 15 min. 

(Lecture) 

B. Adapting a Speech to an Audience 35 min. 

(Activity) 



in. Sender and Receiver Obstacles (30 min.) 

A. Identifying and Overcoming Obstacles 10 min. 

(Lecture) 

B. Sender and Receiver Obstacles 15 min. 

(Activity) 

Unit Summary 5 min. 



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UNIT TWO: COMMUNICATION 
Objectives 



Objective 1 



The participant will cite key characteristics of oral, written, paraverbal, and nonverbal 
communication that affect their selection and use. 



Objective 2 

The participant will be able to adjust a given communication in order to achieve greater 
impact on the intended audience. 



Objective 3 

The participant will list several obstacles that may impede effective communication for 
sender or receiver and cite techniques that may overcome these obstacles. 



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UNIT TWO 

Objective 1 

The participant will cite key characteristics of oral, 
written, paraverbal, and nonverbal communications that 
affect their selection and use. 



Introduction 



A. Overview of Communication Process 

1. All communication is a coded message. 

a. Sender encodes message. Receiver decodes message. 

b. Encoding process determined by: 



c. Medium. 

• Verbal. 

- Written. 

- Oral. 

• Nonverbal. 

d. Decoding process determined by: 



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2. Frame of reference. 



a. Cultural factors. 



b. Personal factors. 



c. Situational factors. 



d. "Noise" or static, interference. 

• Result of failure to adjust for frame of reference . 



3. An effective sender or receiver understands: 
a. The medium used. 



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b. The frame of reference. 



B. Basic Principles of Oral Vs. Written Communication 
1. Key characteristics of oral communication. 



2. Speech is interactive. 



3. Speech is adaptive. 



4. Speech has a content and a relational dimension. 



5. We cannot not communicate. 



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Discussion Notes 
When is speech preferable as communication medium for the supervisor? 



When is written communication preferable for the supervisor? 



What are some criteria for effective written or oral communication? 
Written Oral 



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C. One-Way and Two-Way Communication 

1. One-Way. 

2. Two-Way. 



3. Basic Principles of Two-Way Communication. 

(For two-person dialogue between supervisor and supervisee.) 

a. Exploration period. 



b. Business is conducted. 



c. Tips on dialogue. 



d. Terminating the meeting. 



D. The Three "Rs" of Effective Written Reports 
1. The Three "Rs." 

a. Reason. 

b. Resources. 

c. Results. 

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2. Definition of the three "Rs." 

a. Reason; Major or overall purpose of the report. 

b. Resources; The data base of the report. 

c. Results; What the reader will know after report. 

3. Presentation Order, 
a. Introduction. 



b. Body. 



c. Conclusion. 



d. Bibliography or appendix. 



4. Example: Status Report of Votuntfr Smoke Detector Usage by Citizens in 
Randolph County. 

a. Reason: The purpose of this report is to inform the chief about the extent 
to which citizens in our county have voluntarily placed smoke detectors in 
their dwellings. 



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Resources. 



Mail survey to single dwellings using the Water Dept. monthly billing 
list. 

On-site inspection of all units that have six or more apartments. 

On-site inspection of a 10% random sample of private houses in county 
by firefighters. 

Survey of ten major stores to determine types of detectors sold in area 
and their average price. 

Fire inspector's report for the last three years in the county. 

Discussion with a group of apartment owners by Captain Jones. 

Federal report on national trends in smoke detector adoption. 

Newsweek article on smoke detectors. 



Results. 



Percentage of private homes in the county that have detectors. 
Percentage of apartments in county that have detectors. 
Percentage of each type and average cost. 
Comparison of Randolph County to national trends. 
Apartment owners' attitudes toward mandatory laws. 
Author's recommendations to chief for future action. 

E. Nonverbal and Paraverbal Communication 
1. Introductory points. 

a. Definitions. 

• Nonv erbal: Not using words. 

• Parav erbal: Associated with use of words (example: tone of voice). 

b. Difference from verbal. 



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c. Importance. 

• Monitor your own messages. 



Use to see how someone is interpreting you, your message. 



d. Cautions. 



2. Four areas of nonverbal communication: 

a. Eye contact. 

b. Movements. 

c. Proxemics. 

• Relative position of bodies in space. 

d. Body position. 

• The way various parts of body are held by individual. 

3. Eye contact . 

a. Ordinary level; 3096-60% of time in dialogue, one person looks at the other. 

b. Increases with: 

• Confidence. 

• Interest. 



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c. Decreases with: 



Uneasiness. 



• Disinterest. 

• Cultural training or habit, 
d. Indicates dominance. 



4. Movements . 

a. Underline verbal expressions . 



b. Regulate verbal interaction . 



c. Show shift in feeling . 



d. Impatience, readiness to leave . 



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5. Proxemics. 

a. Closeness of relationship. 



b. Dominance. 



6. Body position. 



Visual 2.15, "Who Is the Boss?" 
Clues Interpretation 



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Visual 2.16, "Council Members' Reaction to Fire Department Presentation." 
Clues Interpretation 



Person One: 



Person Two: 



Person Three: 



Person Four: 



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Visual 2.17, "Firefighters Reacting to New Policy" 
Clues Interpretation 



Person One: 



Person Two: 



Person Three: 



Person Four: 



Visual 2.18, "A Negotiator at Four Points" 
Clues Interpretation 



2. 



3. 



4. 



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7. Paraverbal communication. 

Paraverbal; The way a verbal communication is delivered, including speed, 
pitch, volume, and stress. 



Class Activity 

Try delivering the following line in a variety of ways, varying speed, pitch, volume, and 
stress to suggest several different situations and emotions: "I'd like to see that fire report 
now." Other class members will offer their interpretation of the siutation based on your 
paraverbal cues. 



8. Channel inconsistency. 



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UNIT TWO 

Objective 2 

The participant will be able to adjust a given communica- 
tion in order to achieve greater impact on the intended 
audience. 



II. Adapting Communication Strategy to an Audience 
A. Primary Adaptation Skills 

1. Successful adaptation requires four abilities. 



2. Use an appropriate preparation system . 



3. Anticipate audience reaction. 



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4. Appeal to your audience's heroic self-image. 



5. Use appropriate rational arguments , 
a. Authority assertion. 

• Citing authority in your support. 



b. Sign argument. 

• Showing symptoms (signs) that suggest a given problem. 



c. Example argument. 

• Illustrating your points with case studies, personal experience, etc. 



d. Causal argument. 

• Show cause-effect relationships. 



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B. Adapting a Speech to an Audience 

Directions : Prepare a four-minute speech for the audience and situations assigned by the 
instructor to your group. The primary criterion for evaluation will be the appropriateness 
of the strategy you have selected for your particular audience. A representative of your 
group should be prepared to explain the rationale behind the strategy selected. Notes for 
the speech should be in draft outline form— no complete sentences. 

AUDIENCE ADAPTATION EXERCISE, EXAMPLE ONE 
THE SMOKE DETECTOR AND THE CIVIC GROUP 



Quickly select a civic group with which every one in your work group is familiar— Masons, 
Kiwanis, Jaycees, Lions, etc. Your goal is to convince this organization to help fund the 
purchasing of smoke detectors to be given to needy families in the county. 

Prepare a four-minute speech that a member of your group will present to the class. 



AUDIENCE ADAPTATION EXERCISE, EXAMPLE TWO 
THE SMOKE DETECTOR AND THE ASSOCIATION OF APARTMENT OWNERS 



The goal of your group is to persuade the apartment owners of the need for a smoke 
detector ordinance requiring them to buy and maintain a detector for each rented 
apartment. 

Prepare a four-minute speech that a member of your group will present to the class. 



AUDIENCE ADAPTATION EXERCISE, EXAMPLE THREE 
THE NEW RESCUE SQUAD VEHICLE AT THE CITY COUNCIL 

The goal of your group is to persuade the City Council of the need for a new rescue squad 
vehicle. 

Prepare a four-minute speech that a member of your group will present to the class. 



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AUDIENCE ADAPTATION EXERCISE, EXAMPLE FOUR 
THE NEW RESCUE SQUAD VEHICLE AND THE SUPPRESSION FIREFIGHTERS 

The goal of your group is to persuade suppression firefighters in your department of the 
need for a new rescue squad vehicle. 

Prepare a four-minute speech that a member of your group will present to the class. 



AUDIENCE ADAPTATION, EXAMPLE FIVE 
MANDATORY SPRINKLER SYSTEMS AND THE COUNTY BOARD 



The goal of your group is to persuade the County Board of the need to pass an ordinance 
requiring all buildings over three floors to be sprinklered. 

Prepare a four-minute speech that a member of your group will present to the class. 



AUDIENCE ADAPTATION EXERCISE, EXAMPLE SIX 
SPRINKLER SYSTEM AND THE ASSOCIATION OF ARCHITECTURAL ENGINEERS 



The goal of your group is to get the support of the Association of Architectural Engineers 
for an ordinance requiring all buildings over three floors to be sprinklered. 

Prepare a four-minute speech that a member of your group will present to the class. 



AUDIENCE ADAPTATION EXERCISE, EXAMPLE SEVEN 
THE FIREFIGHTERS AND THE NEW POLICY 



Quickly agree on a new policy that would require skill to present effectively and the 
characteristics of the group to whom it is to be presented. 

Prepare a four-minute speech that a member of your group will present to the class. 



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AUDIENCE ADAPTATION EXERCISE, EXAMPLE EIGHT 

THE NEW BREATHING APPARATUS AND THE STATION 

The goal of your group is to present a new Breathing Apparatus to all the personnel at your 
station. You need 100% cooperation during the six-month evaluation process for which 
you are responsible. 

AUDIENCE ADAPTATION EXERCISE, EXAMPLE NINE 
THE ENGINE COMPANY AND THE UNPLEASANT ASSIGNMENT 



The goal of your group is to persuade an engine company that they are not being punished 
or treated unfairly just because they are being assigned the task of cleaning the winter's 
accumulation of pigeon droppings from the training tower. 



AUDIENCE ADAPTATION EXERCISE, EXAMPLE TEN 
THE NEIGHBORING DEPARTMENT AND THE INCIDENT COMMAND SYSTEM 



The goal of your group is to convince a neighboring volunteer department, which has 
recently signed a mutual aid pact with your department, that adopting and becoming 
proficient in the Incident Command System you use will be to their benefit. 



AUDIENCE ADAPTATION EXERCISE, EXAMPLE ELEVEN 
THE FIREFIGHTERS AND THE NEW CHIEF 



The goal of your group is to convince a group of combat firefighters that the new fire 
chief, who was formerly the fire marshal (with 15 years in fire prevention) will be able to 
understand their needs. 



AUDIENCE ADAPTATION EXERCISE, EXAMPLE TWELVE 
THE OLDER FIREFIGHTERS AND CERTIFICATION 



The goal of your group is to persuade a large number of older, experienced volunteers in 
your department that the training needed to be state-certified as a first-class firefighter 
will be to their benefit. 



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UNIT TWO 

Objective 3 

The participant will list several obstacles that may im- 
pede effective communication for sender or receiver and 
cite techniques that may overcome these obstacles. 



III. Sender and Receiver Obstacles 
A. Identifying and Overcoming Obstacles 
1. Communication obstacles. 



2. Active listening. 

a. Listener has key role in communication process. 



b. Ask questions. 



c. Give feedback. 



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d. Characteristics of good feedback. 



B. Sender and Receiver Obstacles 



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SENDER AND RECEIVER OBSTACLES 



Directions; Check the box that most applies to you as sender or receiver in a fire service 
work context. When all are marked, place an asterisk by the two sender and two receiver 
obstacles that are most significant for you. Finally, discuss with participants near you the 
sources of the obstacles to communication you consider most serious (that is, what causes 
them to be set up) and how they might be removed. 



Sender Obstacles 

1. Giving a hard sell. 
Source: 
Techniques for change: 

2. Killing enthusiasm by being 
indifferent or over-critical. 

Source: 

Techniques for change: 



Not being attentive to listener 
reactions to ensure clarity, feedback. 



Source: 

Techniques for change: 



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5. 



Choosing wrong communication medium 
for the message (i.e., sending a 
memo when face-to-face contact is 
needed, or calling a meeting when 
a memo would be more efficient). 

Source: 

Techniques for change: 



Inefficient or incorrect use of 
medium selected. 



Source: 

Techniques for change: 

6. Communicating too much or too little. 
Source: 
Techniques for change: 



7. Not organizing the message for 
maximum clarity (i.e., presenting 
facts in the wrong order). 

Source: 

Techniques for change: 



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8. Failure to adapt message to receiver's 
frame of reference. 

Source: 

Techniques for change: 

9. Being too vague. 
Source: 
Techniques for change: 

10. Cutting off questions or 
feedback from listener. 

Source: 

Techniques for change: 

11. Other major barrier (identify): 
Source: 

Techniques for change: 



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Receiver Obstacles 

1. Killing enthusiasm by being 
indifferent or over-critical. 

Source: 

Techniques for change: 



Cutting in to anticipate what 
sender will say. 

Source: 

Techniques for change: 



Not giving message full attention 
because of an unrelated train of 
thought, planning your reaction, 
or other distractions. 

Source: 

Techniques for change: 



4. Not asking questions when 
something is unclear. 

Source: 

Techniques for change: 



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5. Failure to adapt feedback to 
sender's frame of reference. 

Source: 

Techniques for change: 

6. Giving feedback on areas not 
in the sender's control. 

Source: 

Techniques for change: 



7. Being too vague. 
Source: 
Techniques for change: 

8. Turning off message because of 
poor attitude to sender. 

Source: 

Techniques for change: 



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9. Blowing your cool. 
Source: 
Techniques for change: 

10. Not expressing helpful feedback. 
Source: 

Techniques for change: 



< ft. ao co < 



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UNIT TWO: COMMUNICATION 
Suggested Further Activities 

1. After several significant communications in which you were sender or receiver, use 
the "Sender and Receiver Obstacles" form to evaluate yourself. Watch the pattern 
over several communications and concentrate on improving. If possible, ask the 
other person involved to fill out the same form and compare notes. 

2. Before your next speech or presentation, research the "heroic self-image" of your 
audience carefully and target your speech to appeal to this image. 

3. Carefully observe the body language of key people with whom you interact until you 
feel you can predict when they are restless, disagreeing, or ready to end a meeting. 

4. Next time you have a chance to prepare an argument in support of something you 
wish to do, try to develop at least one of each of the four types of rational 
argument. Then, select the most effective arguments for use. 

5. When observing a presentation for a particular audience— whether in oral or written 
form— evaluate the extent to which the communicator has correctly analyzed his or 
her audience and developed an appropriate strategy. 



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UNIT TWO: COMMUNICATION 
References 



Martin Andersen, E. Ray Nichols, Jr., and Herbert W. Booth, The Speaker and His 
Audience (New York: Harper & Row, 1974). 

Joseph A. DeVito, The Interpersonal Communication Book (New York: Harper & Row, 
1983). 

John F. Cragan and David W. Wright, Introduction to Speech Communication (Prospect 
Heights, m.: Waveland Press, 1980T 

John F. Cragan and David W. Wright, Communication in Small Group Discussions (St. 
Paul: West Publishing Co., 1980). 

John F. Cragan and Donald C. Shields, Applied Communication Research (Prospect 
Heights, m.: Waveland Press, 1981). 

Alan Monroe and Douglas Ehninger, Principles and Types of Speech Communication 
(Glenview, HI.: Scott, Foresman, 1974). 

Ann Murphy Springer, Fire Management I (Pacific Grove, Cal.: California Fire Academy, 
1981). 

Gordon Zimmerman, James Owen, and David R. Seibert, Speech Communication (St. 
Paul: West Publishing Co., 1977). 



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UNIT TWO: COMMUNICATION 
Recommended Reading 



Cragan, John F. and Wright, David W. Communication in Small Group Discussions. St. 
Paul: West Publishing Company, 1980. 

Chapter 5 gives advice on construction of rational argument. 

Cragan, John F. and Shields, Donald C. Applied Communication Research. Prospect 
Heights, ni.: Waveland Heights, 1981. 

Book presents current research of human interaction, including two studies on the 
fire service and the firefighter's image. 

DeVito, Joseph A. The Interpersonal Communication Book. New York: Harper & Row, 
1983. 

Good basic book in interpersonal communication. 

Springer, Ann Murphy. Fire Management I. Pacific Grove, Cal.: California Fire 
Academy, 1981. 

The entire management book is written solely for fire officers. It is available from 
the Office of the California State Fire Marshal, 7171 Bowling Drive, Sacramento, 
CA 95823; phone 916/427-4166. 



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UNIT THREE 
MOTIVATION 



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UNIT THREE: MOTIVATION 
Overview 

Total Time: 3 hours, 30 minutes 

I. Principles of Effective Motivation (2 hours, 30 min.) 

Introduction to Motivation (Lecture) 5 min. 

A. Creating a Motivating Environment 25 min. 

(Lecture) 

B. Motivating Personalities in a Fire Service 
Context 

(Lecture, Discussion, Activities) 1 hour, 30 min. 

C. Motivation and Management Culture 30 min. 

(Lecture, Activity) 

H. Performance Measurement and Motivation (1 hour) 

A. Motivation and Performance Standards 30 min. 

(Lecture, Activity) 

B. Performance Appraisal Sessions as Motivators 30 min. 

(Lecture, Activity) 



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UNIT THREE: MOTIVATION 
Objectives 

Objective 1 

The participant will explain how the principles of effective motivation may be adapted to 
specific fire service contexts and individuals. 

Objective 2 

The participant will be able to use performance standards as motivators. 

Enabling Objective 1 : The participant will cite criteria for appropriate performance 
standards. 

Enabling Objective 2 : The participant will be able to demonstrate how a 
performance appraisal interview may be used to motivate a subordinate. 



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UNIT THREE 

Objective 1 

The participant will explain how the principles of effec- 
tive motivation may be adapted to specific fire service 
contexts and individuals. 



I. Principles of Effective Motivation 
Importance of motivation strategy: 

A. Creating a Motivating Environment 
1. Behavior motivated by need. 



2. Maslow's hierarchy of needs. 

a. Needs at lowest level must be satisfied first— then, needs at next highest 
level become strongest drive. 

b. Physiological needs. 



c. Safety needs. 



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d. Social (affiliation) needs. 



e. Esteem (recognition) needs. 



f . Fulfillment (also called "self -actualization") needs. 



g. Avoid "typing" individual. 

• Priority needs may vary as situation changes. 

• Adjust motivation to person's needs. 



3. The Pittsburgh Studies (Herzberg). 
Major study on work motivation. 
• Conducted by Frederick Herzberg. 



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4. Herzberg and Maslow. 

a. Three lowest levels: "Hygienic Factors.' 



b. Two highest levels: 'True Motivators. 



5. Implications for supervisor. 



6. Coercive motivation. 



7. Motivation and organization type, 
a. Coercive organization. 



b. Utilitarian organization. 



c. Normative organization. 



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d. Implications for fire service supervision. 



B. Motivating Personalities in a Fire Service Context 
1. Outer-directed vs. inner-directed. 
• Outer-directed. 



Inner-directed. 



2. Specific individual motivators. 



3. Fire service motivators. 



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Activity discussion notes: 



Motivators on first joining the fire service compared to now: 



Examples and discussion of individual motivation problems: 



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INDIVIDUAL MOTIVATION ROLE PLAY 

Directions ; 

The purpose of this activity is to practice "turning keys" to motivate an individual. As 
Captain Smith, you want to try to find an approach that works for this specific individual. 
As Driver Jones, you should give Captain Smith practice in problem solving— you should 
not make it too easy, but make your reactions believable in context. At the end of this 
exercise, answer the questions on the next page and discuss your reaction with the other 
person. 

Role of Captain Smith: 

Firefighter Jones has made an appointment to see you about his recent assignment to the 
ambulance. Assignment to the ambulance has been seen as a "second-class" job in the fire 
department. In short, the average firefighter hates the job. Usually, everyone takes his or 
her turn, but due to summer vacations and a recent loss in personnel, you need him to stay 
on the ambulance for another six months. Your goal is to keep him on the ambulance with 
the best possible attitude. 



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Directions ; 

The purpose of this activity is to practice "turning keys" to motivate an individual. As 
Captain Smith, you want to try to find an approach that works for this specific individual. 
As Driver Jones, you should give Captain Smith practice in problem solving— you should 
not make it too easy, but make your reactions believable in context. At the end of this 
exercise, answer the questions on the next page and discuss your reaction with the other 
person. 



Role of Ambulance Driver Jones ; 

You are a firefighter who prefers to fight fires not provide "free taxi service" to the 
hospital. You already did six months on ambulance but Captain Smith reassigned you to 
six more months! You don't think it's fair. Besides, you are studying for upcoming exams 
for paramedic and the extra runs the ambulance makes take away from your study time. 
Your goal is to get off the ambulance and on the truck. You are third-generation fire 
service, and very oriented to moving up the career ladder. 



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Activity discussion 



Individual motivators summary 



C. Motivation and Management Culture 

1. Several key factors affect team motivation: 

a. Combination of individual motivators. 

b. Leadership style. 

c. Power. 

d. Stress. 

e. "Management culture." 



[Note: b - d above are covered by the companion course to this one, "Supervision in 
the Fire Service— Increasing Personal Effectiveness." Supplementary Reading from 
that course is also included in your Student ManualJ 

2. Effect of management culture on motivation. 

a. Management culture : The characteristics and internal climate that make 
each organization (or fire department) a distinct community. 



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b. Examples of cultural characteristics. 



3. Fire department mission and motivation. 

Fire department mission ; The major agenda for the department; how it chooses 
to interpret and carry out its mandate to "protect and save life and property 
from fire and other hazards." 



4. Organizational structure and motivation 

anizational sti 
Jecide and act. 



Organizational structure: The amount of centralization of power and authority 
to deck 



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f . Department type and motivation. 

Department type ; All paid, all volunteer, or combination. 



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TEAM MOTIVATION IN A MANAGEMENT CULTURE 

Directions : What could a supervisor do to motivate a team in the following situations? 

1. A company in a highly structured, primarily suppression-oriented paid department 
complains to you that directives, orders, and policies are not consistently or fairly 
enforced. They feel as if other companies are "getting away with murder." They 
start to slack off and slide on following verbal orders and daily procedures. They 
resist doing company inspections even though they are required. 

Suggestions: 



Volunteers in an all volunteer, quite participatory department want to go to 
emergency incidents, but resist "book learning" and required training. They resent 
what they consider unfair requirements (four hours training per month) but 
grudgingly admit they are a long way from a smoothly functioning skilled team. 

Suggestions: 



A paid captain assigned to train volunteers sees the assignment as a punishment. 
The captain has been in an all paid company of this paid/volunteer combination 
department, and has had little experience with volunteers. The volunteers resent the 
paid captain "ordering them around" and have decided to boycott training. 

Suggestions: 



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UNIT THREE 
Objective 2 



The participant will be able to use performance standards 
as motivators. 

Enabling Objective 1 : The participant will cite 
criteria for appropriate performance standards. 

Enabling Objective 2: The participant will be able to 
demonstrate how a performance appraisal interview 
may be used to motivate a subordinate. 



n. Performance Measurement and Motivation 
A. Effective Performance Standards 

1. Important in effective motivation, 
a. Possible effects of poor standards. 



b. Effects of appropriate standards. 



2. Performance standard ; A statement of the result an individual employee will 
achieve when he/she is doing a job satisfactorily. 



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3. Purposes of performance standards. 

a. Provide objective basis for assessing performance and development needs . 



b. State criteria for individual success. 



c. Relate individual performance to organizational objectives . 



4. Criteria for performance standards. 

a. Apply to only one critical job element . 

• Appropriate standard: Will master the skills required to perform CPR 
by July 1, 1985. 

• Inappropriate standard: Will master skills necessary to perform CPR 
and defensive driving by July 1, 1985. 



b. Specific . 

• Appropriate standard: Will conduct an average of three fire prevention 
courses per month during the period January 1, 1984 and June 30, 1984. 

• Inappropriate standard: Will conduct an adequate number of fire 
prevention courses during the next six months. 



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c. Attainable . 

• Appropriate standard: Will submit injury reports within three work days 
following the occurrence of the injury. 

• Inappropriate standard: Will ensure that no civilians are injured in fires 
serviced by this fire department. 



d. Legally defensible . 

• Valid (clearly job-related). 

- Example: If no firefighter would ever run 100 yards with a charged 
line, should it be a standard? 

• Free of bias . 

- Does not favor or penalize personalities, ethnic groups, or any 
subgroup on the basis of non job-related characteristics. 

• In compliance with laws. 

- Be aware of department, city/district, county, state, and federal 
requirements. 



5. Standard development. 

a. Employee involvement essential. 

b. Product of negotiation. 

• Open. 

• Honest. 



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6. Performance observation. 

a. Be clear on how performance is to be observed. 



b. Reliable evidence essential. 



7. Management uses of performance standards. 

a. Identify employee strengths and weaknesses. 



b. Assist in formulating relevant employee development plans. 



c. Promote long-term changes in employee job performance. 



d. Help achieve organizational goals. 



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Directions for Activity 

1. With your table group, consider which, if any, of the following performance 
standards do not meet the four criteria for acceptability. 

2. Circle each standard that does not and note what criterion it does not meet. 

3. Discuss appropriate information sources and means of measuring quality for each job 
function, discussing as many individual standards as time allows. 



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Performance Standard Worksheet 



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CITY OF 



Employee 



EMPLOYEE PERFORMANCE REVIEW PROGRAM 
PERFORMANCE PLAN 



FIRE HGHTER 
Classification 



FUNCTION: Provides first aid to ill or injured persons. 



/■¥ 



STANDARDS 



Maintains a thorough and up-to-date knowledqe of the principles of first aid. 
Possesses an up-to-date C.P.R. Card. 

Examines victims at accidents to determine the extent of injuries, and applies 
appropriate first aid techniques based upon evaluation of condition. 

Cooperates with and effectively assists paramedic units (first responder). 

Remains calm and under control during emergency situations. 

Shows professionalism as a fire fighter at first aid emergencies. 

Learns and maintains a thorough knowledge of routes of response to hospitals 
in the district. 

Maintains a basic working knowledge of the location of all first aid equipment 
on both fire apparatus and Medevac units. 



OVERALL 

PERFORMANCE I I 1 feELOW I I I hBOVE I I 

OF FUNCTION: ]_ (UNSATISFACTORY^ (STANDARDS^ (SATISFACTORY^ (STANDARD) (OUTSTANDING 



COMMENTS: 



This function and these standards 
have been discussed with me. 



My performance of this function 
has been discussed with me. 



Employee's Signature 



Employee's Signature 



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CITY OF 



Employee 



EMPLOYEE PERFORMANCE REVIEW PROGRAM 
PERFORMANCE PLAN 

FIRE FIGHTER 



Classif icat- 



FUNCTION: Conducts inspections of structures for conformance with fire and life safety 
laws and regulations. 



-•■ 



STANDARDS 



Maintains a basic knowledqe of applicable fire prevention and life safety 
statutues, codes, and other regulations and provisions as per Fire Company 
Inspection Program. 

Explains and interprets applicable regulations to building owners, managers, 
and/or occupants in a courteous and tactful manner. 

Correctly identifies violations and completes basic forms. 

Produces work that is accurate, thorough and neat. 

Maintains a thorough knowledge of San Diego Fire Department Fire Company 
Inspection Manual and applies it correctly. 

Performs assigned projects in a manner consistent with currently accepted 
techniques, standards and procedures. 



OVERALL 
PERFORMANCE 
OF FUNCTION 



:D 



NSATISFACTOR 



O l0! ! ' 



TANDARDSj JSATISFACTORY] {STANDARD) (OUTSTANDING 



COMMENTS: 



This function and these standards 
have been discussed with me. 



My performance of this function 
has been discussed with me. 



Employee's Signature 



Employee's Signature 



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B. Performance Appraisal Sessions as Positive Motivators 
1. Purpose of performance appraisal. 



2. Pre-performance appraisal. 



3. During the interview. 



4. The followup session . 



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RATER BIASES 

1. Halo effect : The halo effect occurs when the rater's personal opinion of one 
subordinate's characteristics influences his/her evaluation of the total performance 
being evaluated. For example, a company officer may have established a close 
personal relationship with a firefighter prior to promotion to captain. As a result, 
the captain's perception may focus awareness on the firefighter as a person and 
distort the officer's estimate of job performance. 

2. Error of central tendency : This error refers to the overuse of ratings at or near the 
center or midpoint of an evaluation form. Such a rating would reflect an "average" 
or "meets standards" assessment. Areas such as "outstanding" or "does not meet 
standards" are avoided. When a company officer rates all subordinate fire personnel 
as "average" without taking into consideration the individual differences in meeting 
job standards, this error occurs. Specific strengths and areas of improvement are 
not recognized. 

3. Leniency bias : This error occurs when a rater evaluates performance higher than 
actually performed by the subordinate. This occurs when specific job standards are 
not established or understood by the supervisor. Typically the overall performance 
and performance within specific categories are evaluated higher than specific job 
standards. This results in a firefighter being evaluated as "meeting standards" when 
in fact specific improvement is needed. 

4. Strictness bias: This error occurs when a rater evaluates overall performance lower 
than actually performed. This bias may apply to overall evaluation or apply to 
specific categories of performance being rated. For example, a captain may rate a 
firefighter as "standard" when actual performance exceeded specific job standards. 
Many times specific job standards are either not specifically established or the 
supervisor may be unclear as to the differences between rating categories. 
Knowledge of specific job standards is crucial to ensure effective evaluation. Also 
bear in mind that consistency among raters is important to ensure fairness and 
impartiality. 

5. Personal bias : A supervisor may have a personal bias which interferes with the 
objectivity of evaluating a subordinate's performance. Biases may include specific 
job-related attitudes, age, religion, race, sex, educational level, or other personal 
dislikes. Discrimination against a subordinate prevents effective evaluations and 
violates antidiscrimination laws. For example, when a company officer gives 
undeserved low ratings to minorities or females without specific references to job 
standards and requires less of other personnel, such actions will probably be found to 
be discriminatory. 

6. Recent-performance bias : Frequently persons are evaluated on their most recent 
performance rather than overall performance during the established rating period. 
Critical performance behavior, either positive or negative, shortly before an 
evaluation may have a large influence on a subordinate's evaluation for an entire 
rating period. The positive or negative behavior may overshadow the subordinate's 
overall performance and not accurately reflect meeting or not meeting specific job 
standards. For example, knowing that an evaluation rating is due in a couple of 

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weeks, a firefighter may tend to be unusually visible and please the captain by 
suddenly doing drills differently or practicing firefighting techniques as instructed 
rather than taking exception to the captain's instructions. Or, because routine 
monitoring records have not been kept over the whole period being evaluated, the 
rater may "forget" positive or negative behavior which is important. 



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PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL 
ROLE-PLAY ACTIVITY 



ROLE-FIRE CAPTAIN 

You have been a captain for the past two years. A firefighter under your supervision 
has recently been assigned to your shift (approximately two months ago). You have called 
the firefighter in for a semi-annual performance evaluation. The captain who supervised 
the firefighter previously has retired. However, upon reviewing the firefighter's previous 
evaluations, all were marked "satisfactory" or higher. There were no comments regarding 
specific areas that needed improvement. During the past two months, however, you have 
noticed several problems and brought them to the firefighter's attention without 
noticeable improvement. Specific areas include tardiness, challenging of departmental 
rules and regulations relating to switching of shifts, and an increased use of sick leave (one 
shift was missed each of the past two months). The firefighter's work performance has 
dropped off and other company members' attitudes toward the firefighter have been 
somewhat negative. 

Your objective during the interview is to assist the firefighter to develop into a more 
effective company member by improving the areas of deficiency noted above. Addition- 
ally, you want the firefighter to examine specific behavior and determine specific steps 
within a specified period to correct problem areas. A plan of action is to be developed. 

You see that your role in the interview is to stimulate thinking and responsibility 
rather than to just supply necessary solutions. You realize that when a person is placed in 
a position of having his or her performance evaluated, especially where the performance 
and ultimately the job is concerned, an employee may try to hide defects and deny 
acceptance of responsibility. It's also possible that he or she may have misconceptions 
about the job. 



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PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL 
ROLE-PLAY ACTIVITY 



ROLE-FIREFIGHTER 

You have been a firefighter for the last 18 months. You completed your 12-month 
probationary period and received a "standard" performance evaluation at the conclusion of 
your probationary period. The captain who evaluated your performance during the first 
twelve months of employment has retired from the department. The captain under whom 
you work now has called you in for a semi-annual performance report review. 

During the past two months, you have missed two shifts per month and have been 
late to work on several occasions. Also, you have requested to switch shifts with other 
firefighters without the approval of your captain. (The switching of shifts is acceptable 
within the department upon the approval of the company officers.) 

You are aware that periodically the captain has discussed your performance. Your 
tardiness and absences from your assigned shift were verbally reviewed with you. Your 
reason for missing two shifts was illness; however, it's known among coworkers that you 
have been spending a lot of hours "moonlighting." Additionally, you have experienced 
some personal problems— your 11-year-old son has run away from home on two different 
occasions within the past month and recently your in-laws have moved into your home for 
an undetermined period of time. 



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PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL 
ROLE-PLAY ACTIVITY 



ROLE— OBSERVER 

Directions : At the conclusion of the performance appraisal you are to review with the 
firefighter and captain their respective roles and act as a discussion leader to reflect your 
observations regarding specific behaviors of each person. It is also suggested that you ask 
both role players how they felt during the exercise and what they observed about their own 
behavior. 

When you read the role description, you will see that the problem is essentially that 
the firefighter is aware of his tardiness, absenteeism, and constant challenging of 
departmental procedures regarding the switching of shifts. The firefighter may not see 
how off-the-job problems affect his/her motivation and work performance. The captain 
has a responsibility to assist the firefighter in changing behavior to comply with 
departmental requirements. To the extent possible, the captain wants to stimulate and 
guide the firefighter's thinking rather than merely provide solutions to which the 
firefighter will not be really committed. 

1. Did the captain start the interview on a positive note, so that the firefighter felt at 
ease and the groundwork was laid for effective problem solving? 

( ) Yes ( ) No 

2. Did the captain seek to stimulate thinking instead of supply solutions? 

( ) Yes ( ) No 



3. Was the captain willing to consider all ideas on job performance the firefighter 
brought up? 

( ) Yes ( ) No 



4. Did the captain draw the firefighter out with exploratory questions? 

( ) Yes ( ) No 

5. Was a workable plan of action developed? 

( ) Yes ( ) No 



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6. Given the firefighter's attitude and ability, was the captain's approach appropriate? 

( ) Yes ( ) No 

7. Did the captain effectively use the appraisal interview to motivate the employee to 
improve performance? 

( ) Yes ( ) No 

8. Were appropriate criteria used and discussed with the firefighter? 

( ) Yes ( ) No 



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Notes on activity discussion: 



Unit summary: 



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UNIT THREE: MOTIVATION 
Suggested Further Activities 



Review the performance standards used in your own department. Determine which 
do and do not meet the criteria specified for excellent performance standards. If 
they do not, how could they be strengthened? Initiate the process, using the 
approach most likely to be effective in your management culture. 

Take the motivation assessment forms found in this unit back to your department. 
Try to figure out how each person you supervise would complete them, then have 
them actually do so. Use the forms as a teambuilding or problem-solving tool, as a 
method to discover important facts about your management culture or as a way to 
sharpen your motivation skills to influence specific individuals. 



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UNIT THREE: MOTIVATION 
References 



Terence Deal and Allan A. Kennedy, Corporate Cultures (Reading, Massachusetts: 
Addison-Wesley Publishing, 1982). 

Edward B. Dirkin, "Establishing Minimum Performance Standards," Fire Chief Magazine 
(August 1983), pp. 76-78. 

Julia R. Galosy, "Teaching Managers to Motivate— When Theory Isn't Enough," Training 
(November 1983). 

Martin G. Groder, "Motivating Workers," Boardroom Reports (July 1, 1983), pp. 5-6. 

International Fire Service Training Association, Fire Department Company Officer , 
(Stillwater, Oklahoma: IFSTA, 1981). 

Laurie Itow, "How Muclr Values and Lifestyles Program Costs Its Users," San Francisco 
Examiner and Chronicle (June 27, 1982). 

Robert F. Mager and Peter Pipe, Analyzing Performance Problems, Or, You Really Gotta 
Wanna (Belmont, California: Lear Siegler, Inc., 1970). 

Thomas L. Quick, Quick Motivation Method (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1980). 

Ann Murphy Springer and David Springer, Fire Management I (Pacific Grove, California: 
California Fire Academy, 1981). 

Ann Murphy Springer, "Putting Service into Fire Service," American Fire Journal (January 
1984). 

Robert S. Timmins, "Keeping Employees Healthy, Happy, and Motivated," Inc. (March 
1980). 



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UNIT THREE: MOTIVATION 
Recommended Reading 



Terence Deal and Allan A. Kennedy, Corporate Cultures (Reading, Massachusetts: 
Addison-Wesley Publishing, 1982). 

The corporate "culture" defines desirable and undesirable behavior. Culture must be 
considered when planning organizational change. Values, rituals, and symbols are 
explained. 

Edward B. Dirkin, "Establishing Minimum Performance Standards," Fire Chief Magazine 
(August 1983), pp. 76-78. 

Presents one department's attempt to motivate continuous ability to meet and 
maintain performance levels on nine critical job skills by passing rigorous tests 
annually. 

Robert F. Mager and Peter Pipe, Analyzing Performance Problems, Or, You Really Gotta 
Wanna (Belmont, California: Lear Siegler, Inc., 1970). 

A "classic" reference which remains extremely useful for the supervisor. Traces 
common problems through the use of simple flow charts to solve the problem and 
motivate for better performance. 

Thomas L. Quick, Quick Motivation Method (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1980). 

Conditions can discourage people. Managers should try to optimize conditions. The 
success of a manager depends on the success of subordinates. 

Ann Murphy Springer and David Springer, Fire Management I (Pacific Grove, California: 
California Fire Academy, 1981). 

See especially the motivation inventory. Job assignments carry differing 
motivational "payoffs." 



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UNIT FOUR 
COUNSELING 



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UNIT FOUR: COUNSELING 
Overview 



Total Time: 1 hour, 40 min. 

With optional section: 2 hours, 5 minutes 

I. When Do You Counsel? (45 min.) 

A. What Is Counseling? 10 min. 

(Lecture) 

B. Beginning the Counseling Process 15 min. 

(Lecture) 

C. Activity: Knowing When to Counsel 20 min. 

(Class, Group, or Individual Activity) 

II. Effective Counseling Techniques (55 min.) 

A. Four Approaches to Counseling 15 min. 

(Lecture, Discussion) 

B. Tips on Effective Counseling 15 min. 

(Lecture) 

C. Activity: Applying Counseling Techniques 25 min. 

(Table Group or Class Activity, Discussion) 

D. Ethical and Legal Aspects of the Counseling Relationship 15 min. 

(Optional Section) 

(Lecture) 



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UNIT FOUR: COUNSELING 
Objectives 



Objective 1 

Given a situation in which counseling might be advisable, the participant will cite reasons 
that counseling should or should not be attempted by the counselor. 

Objective 2 

The participant will be able to explain techniques used in establishing and maintaining 
effective counseling relationships. 



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UNIT FOUR 

Objective 1 

Given a situation in which counseling might be advisable, 
the participant will cite reasons that counseling should 
or should not be attempted by the counselor. 



I. When Do You Counsel? 
A. What Is Counseling? 



1. Counseling : A two-way communication process through which a supervisor 
assists an employee to act in a more rewarding manner. 

a. Two-way communication. 



b. Focus on change in behavior , actions— not employee as person. 



2. Counseling may be needed when there is a difference between actual and 
expected worker performance. 

a. Possible areas of difference: 



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b. Objective of counseling: 



c. Reasons for counseling: 



3. Examples of situations that may lead to counseling. 



4. Who counsels? 



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B. Beginning the Counseling Process 
1. Set climate. 



2. Agree on the problem . 



3. Determine your role . 



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4. If unable to handle problem, supervisor's role involves: 



5. Referral options. 



6. Activity discussion: When should you refer an employee to a professional 
counselor? 



When should you refer an employee to a higher ranked supervisor or manager? 



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ACTIVITY: KNOWING WHEN TO COUNSEL 



Directions ; For the situation assigned to your group, determine on the basis of known 
facts whether you feel the person described needs counseling. If so, should you refer it to 
a professional or handle it yourself? A representative of your group should be prepared to 
summarize your decision and explain why you made it. 

Situation One 

You are the captain in a relatively small suburban fire department. You have two 
firefighters who bicker all the time when they are in the station house. Harry is never 
happy with the way Christine cleans the equipment, and Christine is constantly on Harry 
for talking too much and not working enough. Other things that each one does are a 
constant source of irritation to the other. 

If Harry says something is green, Christine will swear it is pink, and vice versa. Their 
bickering does not seem to have affected the way they work together when fighting fires, 
but you are afraid it might eventually interfere there, too. They are a problem for your 
other personnel. Everyone seems to like both Harry and Christine individually, but when 
you put them together, they get on everybody's nerves. You like both of them and feel 
they are more than competent in their jobs. Because of the size of your department and 
the heavy demands on your personnel, there is no way to avoid Harry and Christine's 
working together. In other words, the problem must be solved. Would you tackle this 
problem yourself? If yes, how? If no, why not, and what would you do to resolve it? 



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ACTIVITY: KNOWING WHEN TO COUNSEL 
Situation Two 



You are the company commander in a large rural department. You have noticed your 
deputy commander, Larry, has been slow to get things done lately. Previously, he 
frequently had things done for you even before you realized they needed to be done. He 
hasn't been as talkative with the others lately, and he seems to have been late or absent 
much more than usual. You have no idea what is the matter, but have been concerned for 
several weeks. 

One Monday morning Larry comes into your office and says he needs to talk to you. 
Before you can say anything, he tells you his wife has left him and taken the kids halfway 
across the country. He can't afford to go see his children or have them come to see him, 
and until all the legal proceedings surrounding the divorce have been completed, he just 
doesn't know if hell ever see them again. At this point, Larry breaks down and starts to 
cry. This surprises you; you had no idea that Larry was such an emotional person. He 
always seemed to be the kind who held things inside or didn't let them bother him at all. 
Larry then says, in a muffled tone, "Commander, I need help. I've even thought of just 
ending it all." Would you tackle this problem yourself? If yes, how? If no, why not and 
what would you do to resolve it? 



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ACTIVITY: KNOWING WHEN TO COUNSEL 
Situation Three 



You are the first-line supervisor (lieutenant) in a rural all volunteer fire department. The 
second Thursday of every month, the entire department has a meeting for training and 
information at the station house. You are straightening up some loose ends after one 
Thursday night meeting and Jeffrey McDougall comes into your office. You and Jeffrey 
went to high school together, you still go to football and basketball games together, and 
you consider him to be a close friend. Jeffrey sits down and says, "I'm mad as hell, and I 
just need to blow off some steam." 

Jeffrey manages a successful fast food restaurant in town. There are several of these 
restaurants in town that belong to the same national chain. Jeffrey's is by far the most 
successful. The chain's division manager just appointed one of the other restaurant 
managers in town as the supervisor over all the town restaurants. As Jeffrey is relating 
this story to you, you can tell he's not clinically depressed over the situation, he just needs 
a sounding board to explain what happened and try out his ideas for rectifying the 
situation. Would you tackle this problem yourself? If yes, how? If no, why not and what 
would you do to resolve it? 



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UNIT FOUR 

Objective 2 

The participant will be able to explain techniques used in 
establishing and maintaining effective counseling rela- 
tionships. 



II. Effective Counseling Techniques 
A. Four Approaches to Counseling 

1. Behavioral approach (reinforcing). 



2. Nondirective approach (discovering). 



3. Directive approach (controlling). 



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4. Eclectic approach. 



B. Tips on Effective Counseling 

1. Project appropriate image with voice, body language. 



2. Identify pushing and restraining forces. 



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3. Information needs in facilitating change, 
a. What is the change? 



b. Internal and external resources. 



c. Internal and external barriers. 



d. How to use resources, remove barriers. 



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4. Vary types of inquiry, 
a. Discovery question . 



b. Controlling question. 



c. Discovery statement . 



d. Controlling statement. 



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ACTIVITY: APPLYING COUNSELING TECHNIQUES 
EXAMPLE ONE 
Counselor Role 



Directions: Attempt to gather as much relevant information about the situation as you 
can, using the counseling approach and inquiry types you believe will be most productive. 

You are the company officer in small, rural department. There are a small number of paid 
staff which are supplemented with volunteers. There is one particular employee on the 
payroll with whom you have been having problems lately. He is an excellent firefighter, 
but he does not get along with the rest of the staff. He is constantly picking on the others 
when you are all sitting around the station. He seems to try to start fights for no reason 
at all. He has to disagree with somebody during a seemingly innocuous conversation, and 
really gets people upset. Several of your firefighters have come to you and said that 
something has to be done about this man. You have decided to have an informal meeting 
and try counseling him. 



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ACTIVITY: APPLYING COUNSELING TECHNIQUES 
EXAMPLE ONE 
Counselee Role 



You are a firefighter in a small, rural department. You joined the department about six 
months ago when you and your family had just moved to the town. You made the move 
from a large urban area with your family because your wife's mother, who lives in the 
area, was ill and your wife wanted to be near her. You had never lived outside a big city 
before and you resent having to move to this small town. You had been on the fire 
department in your home town and enjoyed it, so you decided to stay a firefighter after 
you moved. Since you have moved, you have not felt like you were able to fit into this 
small town. You have felt uncomfortable and out of place, and have even felt snubbed by 
the townspeople. Additionally, you have felt as if the other firefighters were lazy and 
incompetent. You get bored very quickly with the way they carry on in the station. 

The company officer mentioned he would like to talk with you. You aren't sure why he 
wants to see you. 



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ACTIVITY: APPLYING COUNSELING TECHNIQUES 
EXAMPLE TWO 
Counselor Role 



Directions : Attempting to gather as much information about the situation as you can, 
using the counseling approach and inquiry types you believe will be most productive. 

You are a company officer with 20 years experience in a middle-sized all-career fire 
department. One of the firefighters, who has served well with you for five years, has 
suddenly started having both performance and interpersonal problems in the station. He 
has not been doing his station duties well and has attempted to start two fights with fellow 
employees. His fireground actions in a recent fire almost lead to the injury of others. 
Several firefighters have come to you with complaints. You have decided that an informal 
private meeting may help to clear the air and give you some insight. You arrange to have 
coffee at the local restaurant right after your shift is relieved. 



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ACTIVITY: APPLYING COUNSELING TECHNIQUES 
EXAMPLE TWO 
Counselee Role 



You are a firefighter with five years experience in a middle-sized all-career fire 
department that works 24-hour shifts. You realize that the best thing that ever happened 
to you was your appointment as a firefighter. However, you recently found out that your 
father, who is still living on the farm in a neighboring state, is dying of terminal cancer. 
You and your father are very close and you are hardly able to contain your grief. Since 
your recent separation from your wife, there is no support at home. You realize you are 
not up to par on the job and this increases your anxiety. Every time one of your friends 
asks what is wrong, you freeze up or even become angry, afraid of "caving in" in front of 
your fellow firefighters. You are becoming ashamed of yourself. 

The captain has invited you to have a cup of coffee privately at the end of the shift. You 
are not sure just what, if anything, he wants, but you feel a little nervous and defensive. 



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COUNSELING TECHNIQUE ACTIVITY: 
Observer's Worksheet 



1. What might be the consequences, in your opinion, if the officer had decided to "let it 
ride" instead of counseling? 



2. How did the officer "set the climate"? 



3. Were the two able to agree on the problem? Did the officer practice active listening 
at this stage? 

4. What approach or approaches to the problem did the officer use? Did you feel the 
approach was appropriate? 

5. What image did the officer project? Was it appropriate? 

6. What internal or external resources were identified? What internal or external 
barriers were identified? Were the two able to find a strategy to reinforce resources 
and/or remove barriers? 

7. Was the officer's inquiry primarily discovering or controlling ? Do you feel the 
choice was appropriate? 



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Optional Section 

D. Ethical and Legal Aspects of the Counseling Relationship 
1. The nature of the counseling relationship. 



2. Competence. 



3. Confidentiality. 



Written records. 



5. Employee access to records. 



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Other issues. 



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UNIT FOUR: COUNSELING 
Suggested Further Activities 



1. Next time you find yourself in a counseling situation— whether at work, home, or 
among friends— take a few moments after the conversation to write down examples 
of inquiries you used exactly as you worded them: Were you controlling too much? 
Or did you leave the "gate" open for self-discovery? You may also wish to formalize 
this by videotaping a role-play situation and documenting the number and type of 
each form of inquiry used. Then discuss the results with your "counselee." 

2. Begin asking questions about mental health practitioners and facilities in your area. 
Compile a list of addresses, telephone numbers, and descriptions so it is ready if 
needed. 

3. Research department, local area, and state regulations and laws that have impact on 
employee counseling or in any way affect how performance problems that reflect 
personal issues should be handled. 



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UNIT FOUR: COUNSELING 
References 

Lewis R. Benton, Supervision and Management (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1972). 

Elwood N. Chapman, Your Attitude Is Showing (Chicago: Science Research Associates, 
Inc., 1972). 

D. J. Delaney and S. Sisenberg, The Counseling Process (Chicago: Rand McNally and Co., 
1972). 

William F. Downing and Leonard R. Sayles, How Managers Motivate (New York: McGraw- 
Hill, 1978). 

David M. Fabish, "Becoming a Master of Public Administration," Western Fire Journal 
(July 1983). 

Patrick T. Maher, "Don't Get Stuck in the Muck of Discrimination Suits," Western Fire 
Journal (June 1983). 

Patrick T. Maher, "Fairly Evaluating Job Performance," American Fire Journal (November 
1983). 

Patrick T. Maher, "The Road to Court Is Paved with Good Intentions," Western Fire 
Journal (July 1983). 

Patrick T. Maher, "Statutes Guard Against Sex and Age Discrimination," American Fire 
Journal (October 1983). 

Aaron Q. Sartain and Alton W. Baker, The Supervisor and the Job (New York: McGraw- 
Hill, 1978). 

Leonard R. Sayles and George Strauss. Managing Human Resources (Englewood Cliffs, 
N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1981). 

Lester M. Snyder and William A. Cabianca, An Experiential Approach to Interview 
Training (Tempe, Arizona: Heuristic Systems, Inc., 1972). 

Ann Murphy Springer and David Springer, Fire Management I (Pacific Grove, California: 
California Fire Academy, 1981). 



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UNIT FOUR: COUNSELING 
Recommended Reading 



Elwood N. Chapman, Your Attitude is Showing (Chicago: Science Research Associates, 
Inc., 1972). 

Human relationships on the job. Tips for workers on how to get along with peers, 
superiors. 

Aaron Q. Sartain and Alton W. Baker, The Supervisor and the Job (New York: McGraw- 
Hill, 1978). 

Covers supervision in great depth. A useful reference book. 

Leonard R. Sayles and George Strauss, Managing Human Resources (Englewood Cliffs, 
N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1981). 

Chapter six covers the interview communications process in detail. 

Ann Murphy Springer and David Springer, Fire Management I (Pacific Grove, California: 
California Fire Academy, 1981). 

See sections on Discipline, Counseling, and handling disputes and grievances. 



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UNIT FIVE 
CONFLICT RESOLUTION 



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UNIT FIVE: CONFLICT RESOLUTION 
Overview 



Total Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes 



Understanding Conflict (15 min.) 

A. Introduction to Conflict 5 min. 

(Lecture) 

B. Diagnosing Conflict 10 min. 

(Lecture, Discussion) 



II. Managing Conflict (1 hour, 25 min.) 

A. Five Styles in Conflict Resolution 15 min. 

(Lecture, Discussion) 

B. Four Principles of Conflict Resolution 10 min. 

(Lecture) 

C. Steps in Conflict Resolution 25 min. 

(Lecture, Example) 

Conflict Management Activity 30 min. 

(Large Group Activity) 



Unit Summary 5 min. 



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UNIT FIVE: CONFLICT RESOLUTION 
Objective 



Objective 



Given a sample conflict situation, participants will be able to apply steps most likely 
to lead to a satisfactory solution. 

Enabling Objective 1; The participant will describe the five basic styles of conflict 
resolution. 

Enabling Objective 2 ; The participant will cite four guiding principles in effective 
conflict resolution. 

Enabling Objective 3 ; The participant will explain suggested steps in conflict 
resolution. 



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UNIT FIVE 

Objective 1 

Given a sample conflict situation, participants will be able 
to apply steps most likely to lead to a satisfactory 
solution. 

Enabling Objective It The participant will describe 
the five basic styles of conflict resolution. 

Enabling Objective 2 t The participant will cite four 
guiding principles in effective conflict resolution. 

Enabling Objective 3 ; The participant will explain 
suggested steps in conflict resolution. 



I. The Nature of Conflict 
A. Introduction to Conflict 

1. Unproductive attitudes to conflict are: 



Productive attitudes to conflict are: 



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d. Actually, two things matter in a conflict: 



3. Why meet the needs of the other party? 



4. An effective conflict resolution should: 



B. Diagnosing Conflict 
1. Conflict sources: 



2. Types of conflict. 

a. Conflict over facts or data. 



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b. Conflict over methods or policies . 



c. Conflict over goals or purposes . 



d. Conflict over values and philosophies . 



3. Two aspects of any conflict: 

a. Substance or issues. 

b. Feelings. 



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II. Managing Conflict 
A. Five Styles of Conflict Resolution 
1. Conflict resolution styles, 
a. Avoiding. 



• Uses. 



• Drawbacks. 



b. Accommodating. 



• Uses. 



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• Drawbacks. 



c. Compromising. 



• Uses. 



• Drawbacks. 



d. Competing. 



• Uses. 



• Drawbacks. 



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e. Collaborating. 



• Uses. 



• Drawbacks. 



Four Principles of Conflict Resolution. 
1. Separate the people from the problem . 



2. Focus on interests, not positions. 



3. Generate a variety of options before deciding . 



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4. Seek objective standards . 



C. Steps in Conflict Resolution 
1. Assert common interests. 



2. Express each side's concerns and interests . 



3. Develop criteria for good solution. 



4. Generate action ideas , 
a. Define the problem. 



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b. Analyze the problem. 



c. Generate broad approaches. 



d. Suggest specific action ideas. 



5. Develop action ideas . 



6. Implement best suggestions . 



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SAMPLE CONFLICT FOR CLASS DISCUSSION 
Conflict discussed was: 



1. Common interests for both groups: 



2. Concerns/interests, side 



Concerns/interests, side 2: 



3. Criteria for good solution (one that satisfies legitimate concerns/interests of each 
side): 



4. Generate action ideas. 

a. What exactly is the problem? 

b. Analyze the problem. What contributes to it? 

c. What are some possible broad approaches? 

d. Examples of specific action ideas? 



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CONFLICT MANAGEMENT ACTIVITY: 

GREEN VALLEY FIRE DEPARTMENT AND 
SWANSTOWN FIRE AND RESCUE 



Directions : 

The purpose of this exercise is to give you an opportunity to apply the conflict man- 
agement principles just discussed. Time will allow you to go through only the first four of 
the six steps in conflict resolution, but these are the hardest. 

You will be assigned to Green Valley op Swanstown. The departments will meet 
separately, then together. 

As a separate group, your top priorities are to decide what your common interests 
are with the other departments so you can state them at the beginning of the joint 
meeting (step one) and to be prepared to express your side's interests and concerns (step 
two). If time allows, develop criteria for a good solution from the standpoint of your side, 
but be prepared to revise these to include the interests of the other group (step 3). Each 
side will select three negotiators to represent the views of the group. You may go ahead 
and generate some action ideas, but do NOT let them harden into positions. Both groups 
then meet. 

Your success will be measured by: 

1. The quality of the relationship you have with the other side when the exercise is 
stopped 

2. Whether steps 1, 2, and 3 are completed to the satisfaction of both groups 

3. The number of action ideas you have generated using the process described in 
Visual 5.6. 

Success is not determined by speed ! 

Background: 

The relationship between Green Valley and Swanstown has been stormy at best for 
some time, but recently conflicts have escalated, with a torrent of poor publicity that has 
been a public relations disaster for both. Conflicts have centered on Swan Acres, a 
wealthy subdivision in Green Valley's jurisdiction. Swanstown Fire and rescue has been 
responding to calls in this area. It possesses a variety of modern equipment (telemetry 
units, defibrillation packs, and mast trousers, for example) and has an excellent staff of 
emergency medical personnel. Swan Acres has expressed its appreciation to the unit with 
substantial financial support. 

Green Valley, which critically needs financial backing to buy some much-needed new 
equipment, has insisted that Swanstown not respond to rescue calls at all. Green Valley 
personnel dismiss Swanstown's responders as soon as they (Green Valley) are able to arrive, 
often angrily. In a recent case, there is some question as to whether a patient's life was 



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endangered by the on-scene argument and temporary cessation of medical efforts. A local 
paper reached a Swanstown EMT immediately after the incident, who said, "Green Valley 
is so incompetent, its units shouldn't be allowed to operate at all." A Green Valley 
firefighter said in response that Swanstown was "horning in on Green Valley's legal 
territory to soak its residents for money, which is all they care about." 

Arguing that "turnabout is fair play," Green Valley has been showing up regularly at 
fires in Swanstown's New Street area. It has somewhat better high-rise equipment than 
Swanstown and its officers have had more experience in fighting high-rise fires. It insists 
that its personnel should be in charge of fires in which their equipment is used. It is 
running into opposition from the town board, however, which feels its tax dollars should 
not be spent on "other people's problems." 

Swanstown Fire and Rescue Department is highly trained, with a large cadre of 
young, progressive pesonnel. Most of its leaders came from politically liberal Swan Acres 
and have close ties in the community. They feel Swan Acres "deserves the best"— which is 
them. Green Valley's older, conservative, more experienced leadership feels experience, 
not "fancy equipment and book learning," spells success. They are keenly conscious of 
economic factors and do not wish to give up the financial support they feel they could get 
from Swan Acres if Swanstown would stop "competing" with them and "trying to make 
them look bad" in front of key citizens in their district. Political factors at town and 
department levels militate against a smooth working relationship, since both towns and 
departments see themselves as different (in culture and interests), and tend to believe 
independence is the best way to see their needs are met. 

The town boards of both areas have been embarrassed by the situation, and ordered 
the two departments to "get their act together" and "come up with some feasible sugges- 
tions double-quick." They say they are willing to consider any suggestions both sides agree 
to as long as they don't cost too much. 



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UNIT FIVE: CONFLICT RESOLUTION 
Suggested Further Activities 



1. Practice classifying conflicts according to type, and notice how they are resolved. 
Work on learning from previous conflicts what works best for each type. 

2. Make a list of 10 conflicts you have been involved in over the last year, quickly and 
without thinking. Consider what style(s) you are using most often. How satisfied are 
you with the result? What style(s) do you use least? What does this information tell 
you about yourself in conflict situations and how can you use it to improve results? 

3. Use the conflict resolution steps and principles! Use the "Sample Conflict for Class 
Discussion" to think through your side of an appropriate conflict, and have the other 
party fill it out as well. Then get together and use the completed forms to structure 
your discussion. Alternatively, you may wish to distribute it blank and use it as a 
discussion guide. This may remove some of the sense of threat from the dialogue. 

4. Order the "Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument" (see References) and take 
the "test" with others you work with. Compare the results so you are aware of 
others' typical approach to conflict and discuss the implications for your group as a 
team. 



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UNIT FIVE: CONFLICT RESOLUTION 
References 



Robert Blake, Herbert Shephard, and Jane Mouton, Managing Intergroup Conflict in 
Industry (New York: Gulf, 1964). 

Robert Blake and Jane Mouton, "The Fifth Achievement," Journal of Applied Behavioral 
Science (Vol. 6, No. 4, 1970). 

Alan C. Filley, Interpersonal Conflict Resolution (Glenview, Illinois: Scott, Foresman and 
Company, 1975). 

Roger Fisher and William Ury, Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In 
(New York: Penguin, 1983^ 

Joyce Hocker Frost and William W. Wilmot, Interpersonal Conflict (Dubuque, Iowa: 
William C. Brown Company, 1978). 

Rensis Likert and Jane Gibson Likert, New Ways of Managing Conflict (New York: 
McGraw-Hill, 1976). 

Gerard I. Nierenberg, The Art of Negotiating (New York: Hawthorne, 1968). 

Kenneth W. Thomas and Ralph H. Kilmann, "Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument," 
1974. Available from XICON, Inc., Sterling Forest, Tuxedo, New York 10987. 

Marlene Wilson, Survival Skills for Managers (Boulder, Colorado: Volunteer Management 
Associates, 1981). 



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UNIT FIVE: CONFLICT RESOLUTION 
Recommended Reading 



Robert Blake and Jane Mouton, "The Fifth Achievement," Journal of Applied Behavioral 
Science (Vol. 6, No. 4, 1970). 

This brief article makes a basic, helpful link between management styles and 
approaches to conflict resolution that should be illuminating to fire department 
managers who want to assess the effectiveness of the style they currently use. 

Alan C. Filley, Interpersonal Conflict Resolution (Glenview, Illinois: Scott, Foresman and 
Company, 1975). 

Contrasts to Fisher and Ury (see below) in that it references a wide range of 
relevant information and research. 



Roger Fisher and William Ury, Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In 
(New York: Penguin, 1983.) 

Probably the single best, most concise, and most readable reference on conflict 
resolution, including not only an expanded discussion of the four basic steps in 
conflict resolution presented in this course, but answers to the most common "What 
Ifs": What if they are more powerful, what if they won't play, and what if they use 
dirty tricks. 

Kenneth W. Thomas and Ralph H. Kilmann, "Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument," 
1974. Available from XICON, Inc., Sterling Forest, Tuxedo, New York 10987. 

This widely used questionnaire helps individuals determine what conflict style they 
generally use. It comes with sufficient information to analyze and use test results 
constructively. 

Marlene Wilson, Survival Skills for Managers (Boulder, Colorado: Volunteer Management 
Associates, 1981). 

A helpful, practical chapter on conflict resolution gives a variety of useful tips. 



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SUPPLEMENTARY READING 
FIRE SERVICE SUPERVISION: INCREASING TEAM EFFECTIVENESS 

UNIT ONE: GROUP DYNAMICS 

SECTION I. TYPES, PRINCIPLES, AND STAGES OF GROUP DEVELOPMENT 

A. Types of Small Groups 

A great deal of change has occurred in the fire service in the last 20 years with 
respect to small group behavior. The long-standing engine and truck companies in large 
paid departments now experience a great deal of transferring. In volunteer departments, 
there is a much greater turnover with people moving in and out of town. Many counties 
are going to countywide fire departments and merging several volunteer departments and 
a few paid departments into one large department. These kinds of changes have major 
effects on the membership satisfaction of group members, the group's ability to reach con- 
sensus, and the group's level of productivity. So it's important to look carefully at what it 
takes for a collection of people to become a "real" group. 

When we speak of a small group, we do not mean any gathering of people sharing a 
space by accident. We are referring to a few people (generally three to nine) engaged in 
communication interaction over time, who have common goals and norms, and who have 
developed a pattern or procedure for meeting these goals in an interdependent fashion. If 
that sounds like a lot of requirements, it is. Let's look at each of the nine characteristics 
of a group a little more closely. 

Communication that occurs in a group is not random but is very predictable. Later 
in this unit we describe the specific patterns of communication that go into defining a 
group; but as a general rule, if the group has an open, free-flowing conversation (i.e., it's a 
"noisy" group) chances are it's a good group. If the group experiences long periods of tense 
silence, or if one person, particularly the officer in command, dominates the group, 
chances are the group has a lot of problems and it may not even be what we would call a 
work group. 

The protectiveness of space is a key sign to better detect the presence of a strong 
group. The more the group has a distinct identity, the more space they will claim. This is 
such a common problem in many private organizations that, as a result, the organization 
has to allot each group the "same" amount of space to reduce conflict. This happens all 
the time in the fire service. In an upper New York town there is a fire house that, for lack 
of money, houses two separate volunteer fire organizations. Both have existed for 150 
years. One is the engine company and one is the truck company. Each department has its 
own recreation room that is kept locked, and everyone knows where the house is divided. 

How much time it takes for a group to become a group is very difficult question to 
answer. It varies from group to group. Sometimes an emergency problem (i.e., a fire) will 
force the group together. Sometimes weeks can go by and the people are still not a group. 
Technically speaking, a group is a group when it is through "secondary tension" (we explain 
this a little later) and all five major group roles are formed. Also, some collections of 
people never become a group; but in the fire service, we still expect them to get the job 
done. 

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Another characteristic of a small work group is size . But what is too small or too 
big, and what is just right? Well, as you might have suspected, small group scholars have 
not been able to agree on the exact parameters. However, for the fire service let's say 
that three is the smallest, nine is the largest, and that five to seven people is ideal. Dyads 
(two people) interact differently than triads (three people). By the time there are ten or 
twelve people in a work group, it will cell-divide and form subgroups. We all know about 
the "cliques" that form in a fire house. Sometimes they form around a piece of apparatus 
(i.e., pumper, ladder), sometimes they form in terms of whether they agree or disagree 
with the department's philosophy, and sometimes they form around a common social 
activity. So, it is important for the fire officer who is supervising more than nine fire 
fighters to realize there is more than one group to manage. 

Interdependency is almost always present with fire teams. The nature of the work 
requires that the team members coordinate their activities if lives and property are to be 
saved. 

The strong norming behavior of fire groups is one of the first things you see when 
you study fire groups. The American fire service is steeped in over two hundred years of 
tradition that determines many group norms. However, each small group will have its own 
"personality." In addition, the increased responsibility of fire groups and the changing of 
organizational structure has altered many of the traditional norms. 

Every group has some structural patterns that characterize the group and the way its 
members interact. However, almost all small group theorists maintain that as a collection 
of people becomes a group it does so in stages. In the work group, the stages tend to 
involve a division of labor process through which members take on their various roles. 
Once the group is formed, however, members tend to remain in those same roles. In 
encounter groups the structure may not be roles, but a recurring pattern of behavior that 
is peculiar to it. Most small group theorists contend that groups go through predictable 
patterns of communication as they seek to achieve their goals. 

A similarity between interdependency and goals exists but the concepts are not 
isomorphic. For example, five men could have the goal of fathering a child but not be 
interdependent. Yet the same five men could have the common goal of a five dollar raise 
and, if they were the members of a bargaining team for their union, would have 
interdependency. Small groups are held together by their need to cooperate in the 
achievement of a group goal. If the goal can be achieved independently of group action, or 
only through competition among the group members, then the small group "glue" called 
cohesion may lose its adhesive power. 

Perception . The last way to tell a small group from a collection of people is to see 
if there is a perceived boundary line that separates the "insiders" from the "outsiders." In 
short, do the people think of themselves as members of the group and do they perceive 
other people as not being members of that group? If people perceive themselves as 
members of a group, then they probably are. 

Generally speaking, there are three types of groups that occur naturally in the fire 
service. There are "consciousness-raising groups" that exist to heighten professional 
identity. There are often "encounter groups" in which participants "open up" in order to 
achieve self-development and promote empathy and trust. And most importantly, there 
are task groups, which exist for the purpose of getting work done. It is important for a 

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supervisor to understand each group type so that it can be identified and used 
constructively. 

B. Principles and Stages of Group Development 

As supervisor or manager, you deal with a number of different types of groups. 
Under certain circumstances, each type of group can go awry and cause harm to the entire 
work group; yet, each can also be beneficial and assist in reaching organizational goals. 
Therefore, it is important that the supervisor recognize the different group types and 
monitor their development to ensure their impact is positive. 

The effect of a consciousness-raising (CR) session on a fire work group is probably 
the least understood aspect of group behavior in the fire service. Social science research 
has only recently "discovered" this type of group. Yet, consciousness-raising groups have 
probably been in existence since humans first formed tribes. 

In the early 1960's, radical political groups "discovered" the power of CR sessions 
and trained their leaders to run them to bring "converts" to the cause. Organizers like 
National Organization of Women (N.O.W.), the Black Panthers, and the Symbonese 
Liberation Army (SLA) were using CR. In the late 1960's, a President's Commission on 
Student Unrest was formed to study the problem. In their report to the President, the 
commission members expressed their concern about the processes that had produced the 
fanatical commitment to causes, sometimes demonstrated by revolutionary acts 
committed against the government (Report of the President's Council on Student Unrest). 
In the 1970's, our country was again shocked by the fanatical commitment of people to a 
cause. This time the organizations or groups were religious cults, such as the "Moonies" 
and the Hare Krishnas. The world was shocked in 1978 when over nine hundred members 
of Reverend Jimmy Jones' People's Temple committed mass suicide. Reverend Jones had 
made extensive use of CR sessions in the running of his People's Temple, and once again 
there was a public cry to understand this process. 

In the 1980's, private business organizations are using this same small group process 
to heighten the commitment of the people who sell their products. The Amway Company, 
Mary Kay Cosmetics, and the Williams Insurance Company are good examples of how 
people are motivated through the use of this small group process. 

However, just because CR has been misused does not mean it should be avoided. 
First of all, CR will occur "naturally" all by itself, so a fire officer must watch for it. 
Second, CR is the main way a group builds its pride, so the fire officer needs to control it. 

A consciousness-raising group tends to go through four stages. In the first stage, or 
"credentialing" stage, the group recognizes that members are all "cut from the same 
cloth" and begins sharing tales of a common "villain" or problem. In the second stage, 
banter is replaced by a more intense discussion of the "they" against which "we" are being 
defined. This may involve officers versus blue shirts, volunteers versus paid, one shift 
versus another, or any number of other possible oppositions. Third, participants begin to 
establish values for the group, and explain to each other "what makes us special." This 
may be followed by a fourth stage in which some action is taken that is a logical way to 
assert this strong sense of identity— perhaps by making demands on "them." 



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Obviously, if such a group begins to form, its progress must be monitored. They can 
be a powerful way of raising group pride— but they may also increase intergroup rivalry to 
the detriment of the whole department. You may need to tell some positive stories about 
"them" to keep things in perspective, or emphasize job-related positive qualities in the 
group that will enhance performance. 

In 1946, Kurt Lewin and his associates discovered the basis of what Lewin now calls 
T-groups or sensitivity training groups. They are also called encounter groups. In training 
a group of leaders in Connecticut on how to deal with a community's interracial problems, 
Lewin and his colleagues discovered that their informal evening sessions that dealt with 
their own behavior during the previous day's training sessions were powerful discussions 
that were somehow different from normal work groups. Lewin and his colleagues formed 
the National Training Laboratory (NTL) as a result of this discovery and soon began 
studying the interpersonal and leadership skills that people use in groups. 

By the 1960's, the focus of encounter groups had shifted from learning about people 
in groups to learning about oneself, with the group as the basic means of self-discovery. 
Carl Rogers and other clinical psychologists began holding group therapy sessions for 
"normals." In the 1960's, college students were deeply interested in self-growth, and 
encounter groups were one of the chief means by which they accomplished their personal 
goals. 

By the 1970's, it had also been discovered that encounter groups had the potential to 
produce not only self-growth, but also self-destruction. Yalom, Lieberman, and Miles in 
Encounter Groups First Facts (1973), document some of the psychic damage that can occur 
as the result of encounter group sessions. They point out that several different leadership 
styles in encounter groups lead to substantial harm to group members. The leadership of 
encounter groups is best left to trained clinical psychologists: The use of this group 
process as a parlor game can definitely be harmful to some participants. 

In the fire service, "mini" encounter groups often occur naturally in the course of a 
fire work group's life. They may be identified by a high degree of personal self-disclosure, 
deep group trust, and empathy among group members. Fire officers need to watch them 
very closely. A firefighter can over-disclose or under-disclose. An officer needs to work 
hard to set norms for self-disclosure that are safe. This group process cannot be ignored 
because it can lead to severe emotional stress of the work team members. 

The work group is the most researched of the three group types and it is the 
centerpiece of this training unit. We know that there are usually four ways a group can 
develop. Usually, a "natural" leader emerges after a brief struggle. The loser is the 
central negative. However, other results may occur. A second way is when one member 
takes immediate control of the group, usually based on his or her expert knowledge. This 
often happens in a spontaneous emergency situation. For example, you may have to 
organize a group of civilians to help save someone's life. You probably would not allow 
any challenge to your leadership. A third way a group can evolve is for the leadership 
competition to remain unresolved with two people fighting it out to the bitter end. The 
fourth possible outcome is for no one to assert themselves into the role of leader. If you 
have ever been to a PTA meeting, you'll notice that sometimes everyone "ducks" to avoid 
responsibility. But usually a leader will emerge; often, it will be the best person to lead 
that particular group of people to solve a given problem. 



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Five major roles are considered necessary in any true group. It should be noted that 
regardless of what role you played in the past, or your personal experience and maturity, 
the role you play in each new group is always open for negotiation. Usually this 
negotiation is unconscious— yet it always occurs. 

The task leader may be either the appointed leader, or the one who emerges as best 
qualified to lead that particular group— usually because of special expertise, experience, or 
leadership ability. The social-emotional leader plays a complementary role to the task 
leader. While the task leader focuses on the task, the social-emotional leader 
concentrates on the human needs of participants; Are they too tired and in need of a 
break? Is someone's ego on the line? Does someone need encouragement? 

The information provider is usually a shared role, since members usually have 
different types of information each is qualified to contribute. A negative variation that 
sometimes develops in groups is the rumor spreader. Supervisors should be prepared to 
counter rumors with the facts as quickly as possible, often by a phone call to a 
knowledgeable source. Information that advances the task is valuable, but rumors can kill 
the spirit of a group. 

The central negative is often the person who lost the leadership struggle, and 
criticizes or questions positions suggested by the leader or others. This can be a valuable, 
constructive role if well played and well handled, and can assist the group in reaching the 
best possible decision. It can, however, be uselessly divisive if it becomes personal or 
irrational. 

The tension releaser exists to take the edge off moments of conflict, or to free the 
minds of participants through laughter. A negative form of tension release is "playing the 
clown" to excess or at inappropriate times. Tension release should advance, not retard, 
team spirit and progress. 

Many television and movie scripts owe their impact to the realistic portrayal of 
group roles. The film, The Poseidon Adventure is a good case in point. In that movie, 
Gene Hackman (the preacher) emerges as task leader , Ernest Borgnine (the cop) becomes 
the central negative , the little boy is the information provider , Red Buttons is the social- 
emotional leader , and Shelly Winters is the tension releaser . Our point is that all good 
work groups have these five roles played. It's important for a fire officer to recognize 
who is playing what role in his group. 

In addition to the five major roles played in a task group, there are potentially five 
minor roles that can be played. They are: 1) the questioner, a person who may specialize 
in asking all the important questions to probe an idea incisively; 2) the silent observer , who 
will for sit hours and quietly observe and evaluate the idea. At a verbal level, the people 
playing the major roles sometimes "play" for the silent observers' approval. This behavior 
occurs most frequently in juries. 3) the active listener , a role that all members of a group 
need to play during the course of a discussion; 4) the recorder , a role that is usually 
rotated because it has a subservient connotation to it; and 5) the self-centered follower , 
the only counter-productive role in a group. The person playing this role may work against 
the best interest of the group, because his or her own gain is top priority. 

A task group commonly goes through five stages. During orientation , it defines its 
goal. A conflict stage is then entered over the best way to achieve the goal. Gradually, 

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an idea begins to gain acceptance , until it is reinforced by group members and consensus is 
achieved. Now the group is ready to try out its idea. 

In contributing to an effective task group, it is important to reduce intergroup 
conflict that is not productive and emphasize the common goals. Differences of opinion 
should be welcomed as a productive exchange that will ensure that the goal can be met in 
the best possible way. Keep productivity in mind, and focus on the task at hand. Finally, 
do not be disappointed when you are not always the emergent leader, even when you are 
the formal, appointed one. It is not possible to fulfill this function adequately in a number 
of groups at once. By working with the group effectively as it is constructed, you will 
enhance your reputation and leadership much more than if you turned the group into a 
forum for a power struggle. 

C. Building Effective Teams 

Five negative behaviors are warning signs of a group that is heading for trouble. 
These are too much advice-giving, putting down other members, taking over, censoring, 
and the hard sell. To be effective, a group member needs to work toward shared problem- 
solving rather than seeking to continually demonstrate his or her expertise; to show 
acceptance of other members; to be willing to let go and trust the group; to hear others 
out; and to empathize with others, respecting their values and priorities. Often, we 
assume positions are incompatible when in fact, with a little sensitivity, both values can 
be successfully addressed. 

An effective task group participant can help the group make progress by performing 
either "task functions" or "maintenance functions." Task functions are directly related to 
making progress on the task itself, and would have to be performed even if the task were 
assigned to robots. But maintenance functions are necessary for the human aspect of the 
group, and help human beings fulfill their potential as group members. 

Task functions include initiating (helping "get the show on the road" or introducing 
new directions); information-seeking (getting ideas or facts from others); information- 
giving (sharing what you know or think); clarifying/coordinating (helping the group reach a 
clear understanding of where they are and who is saying what); summarizing/orienting 
(offering conclusions that follow from what has been said) and finally, consensus-testing/ 
evaluation (asking members to offer their assessment of a key statement to see whether 
everyone is in agreement). When these functions are omitted, the group may become "off 
track" and lose its sense of direction. Communication problems may also occur. 

Maintenance functions include harmonizing (helping smooth ruffled feathers, recon- 
ciling members whose personal feelings are hindering progress, and similar functions); 
gate-keeping (seeing that all members have a chance to contribute, and the "gates" are 
open for new input); encouraging (explicitly reaching out to less aggressive members or 
others who need a friendly push to enter the open gate); supporting (making it clear that 
you are receptive to someone's ideas, whether you are sure you agree or not) and finally, 
collaborating/compromising (serving as a negotiator when differences of opinion emerge, 
and seeing that neither side feels angry or bitter. It is important to realize that mainte- 
nance functions may be just as important to task achievement as the task functions: the 
quality of work will surely suffer if no one pays attention to the human aspects of group 
membership. 

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A team player is one who meets five basic ethical standards. These may be 
described as follows: 

1. Commitment to do his or her best . Each group member brings a unique 
personality, set of social experiences, and knowledge of the job and/or 
discussion topic to the group. Implicitly, the group expects each member to 
make available his or her special talents for the group's benefit. When it 
appears that a member is holding back some talent or knowledge, conflict 
generally ensues. The individual who is "sand-bagging" usually feels he or she 
has the right not to contribute. But the group will feel that an ethic has been 
violated. Sometimes these conflicts develop over role selection. An individual 
may possess vast experience in handling interpersonal conflict, but refuses to 
play the role of the social-emotional leader. 

2. Commitment to the group good . Of the ten roles in a group, the one negative 
role is the self-centered follower. The communication behavior that is 
frequently exhibited by this role is special-interest pleading. When people work 
in groups, there is an assumption that they are working for a common good. 
When a group member appears to be using the group for his or her individual 
ends, conflict ensues in which the self-centered follower is accused of unethical 
behavior. A violation of this ethic in team sports is easy to spot. The self- 
centered follower is the player who sacrifices team victory in order to achieve 
individual honors. 

3. Commitment to rationality . Group decisions pose threats to individual 
convictions. The process of reasoning out a conclusion that several people can 
accept requires a commitment to rational thinking. It means that each member 
must be willing to abandon his or her previous beliefs on an issue if sufficient 
arguments are marshalled in the discussion to justify a change in opinion. 

4. Commitment to fair play . Good group members should not attempt to 
manipulate or entrap each other in their common search for truth. In a court of 
law, lawyers may use clever strategies that unnerve witnesses or infuriate their 
opposition. But in a discussion, there is no opponent; everyone should be 
working cooperatively for the common good. Therefore, a good discussant does 
not compete against the other group members. 

5. Commitment to good listening . An ethical standard that all group members 
should endorse is a commitment to good listening. Listening goes beyond just 
hearing fellow group members talk. In order for us to be able to play the role of 
an active listener in a discusssion, we must listen attentively to what fellow 
group members are saying. 

If you would like to give some effort to improving your leadership, here are some 
suggestions for areas in which you might want to analyze your performance and "stretch" a 
little with each opportunity. 

1. Put group goals ahead of your own . Strangely enough, this is often one of the 
best ways of meeting your goals! 



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2. Have a genuine concern for group members . Don't be so focused on the task 
that you forget to notice the people who must accomplish it. This can only be 
self-defeating. 

3. Set a good work pattern . Observe the well-known principle that "actions speak 
louder than words." 

4. Communicate well and often . Through solid communication links, understanding 
is assured and efficiency improved. 

5. Know when to be the leader— and when to back off and play a different 
constructive role. That, too, is a form of leadership and a mark of character! 

6. Recognize individual differences . As Carl Rogers has indicated in his well- 
known book, Carl Rogers on Encounter Groups , one of the objectives that the 
National Training Laboratory has suggested as being important to organizations 
is to build trust among individuals and groups, for the health of the organization 
as well as the welfare and development of the individual. The encounter 
moments in the life of a work group allow the group to better understand the 
unique qualities of each member. Some of these individual differences 
everybody will like and celebrate; however, every member will have some 
personality traits and behaviors that are irritating to other group members. 
Learning to tolerate and accommodate some of the more unpleasant aspects of 
a group member is one of the surest ways to help a group develop and mature. 

7. Manage interpersonal conflict . Conflict is an important ingredient in the 
development of a group. It is healthy and necessary for some conflict to occur 
at the ideational level of a task group, during role formation, and between 
individual members. However, it is important to keep these conflicts within 
manageable boundaries. The more culturally and occupational^ diverse your 
work group is the more difficult it will be to set these boundaries. 

8. Keep self-disclosure within limits . Every group needs a level of self-dislosure 
such that members know on whom they can depend. Some work groups require 
more self-disclosure than others. A team of firefighters working cooperatively 
within a burning building will require a great deal of disclosure from one another 
so that they will know they can trust the other members to save their lives if 
need be, but keep it within limits. 

9. Build group pride . Consciousness-raising sessions have the effect of highlighting 
the positive characteristics of the group that can be the source of a group's 
pride. Unfortunately, this process is a comparative one and the group runs the 
risk of exaggerating its superiority over other groups. Therefore, it is important 
that the group build its pride upon a solid foundation of measurable productivity. 

10. Create symbols and slogans . Bormann and Bormann observed: "Highly cohesive 
groups also always work out ways to identify their group; sometimes these are 
as obvious as insignia, or mascots, or the use of nicknames." After a group has 
established some ability to do the work, the naming of the group can be formally 
discussed as an agenda item with very beneficial results. Thinking of a name or 
a logo for a group helps the group discover what all the members take pride in. 



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11. Establish group traditions . Bormann and Bormann have also found that tradition 
plays an important role in the group (1976, p. 70). All work groups should spend 
some time dwelling on their past accomplishments and retelling old stories as a 
means of both maintaining the group's maturity and assimilating new members 
into the group. 

12. Work to clarify role differentiation . Shepherd stated: "A successful group is 
one in which each member's role is clear and known to himself and to others in 
the group" (1964, pp. 122-23). It is also important to recognize that role 
formation is a dynamic, not a static, phenomenon in group development. Even 
established groups manifest some changes in role playing. So it is important to 
continually clarify in your mind what roles are being played by what members 
for the benefit of the group. 

13. Stress group productivity . We have all been members of work groups that were 
made up of people we enjoyed being with one another and know that it makes 
the work go smoother if everyone likes each other. Yet we've also participated 
in group work with people we have not been particularly fond of, but have 
sometimes found these unpleasant groups to be more productive than the happy 
ones. One sign of a firefighter's professional maturity is that person's ability to 
work efficiently and effectively with coworkers to whom he or she is not 
attracted. We can rarely choose who will be on our work teams, and members 
are never rewarded for how they get along with each other. On the contrary, 
they are sometimes reprimanded if interpersonal conflicts get in the way of 
their work. When all is said and done, the most important output is the group's 
productivity. Member satisfaction and consensus are two group outcomes that 
tend to enhance productivity, but even if there is little member satisfaction and 
even if the group rarely reaches consensus, it can still meet its most basic 
objective— productivity. 



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SUPPLEMENTARY READING 
FIRE SERVICE SUPERVISION: INCREASING TEAM EFFECTIVENESS 



UNIT TWO: COMMUNICATION 



SECTION I. COMMUNICATION MEDIA 

A. Overview of the Communication Process 

National surveys indicate that we spend about 70 percent of our waking hours 
involved in some form of communication. These same surveys continue to report that our 
number one fear is not sharks or fire but the fear of giving a public speech. 

Communication is so pervasive and such an important part of a fire officer's profes- 
sional life that it must be considered a key skill. Becoming a confident, efficient, 
effective communicator means overcoming any fears you have of being "on the spot" as 
communicator or receiver, so that you are as much in your element writing a memo or 
addressing an audience as you are in doing any other task you do well and often. This 
means, first, that you need a thorough understanding of the basic principles behind the 
communication process. 

Any communication is in "code." Think about it. To read a language, you must know 
the language— not only the literal meaning of the words, but the special nuances that give 
words that are similar in meaning (like "plump" vs. "obese") their special color. Our body 
language "vocabulary" — our gestures, for example — is culturally conditioned, like our word 
vocabulary. But we each belong to different subcultures, such as ethnic and religious 
groups, that further condition the meaning we attach to words and gestures. As indivi- 
duals, we have all had different experiences that may affect our understanding. 

What does this mean for us as communicators? First, that we need to thoroughly and 
consciously understand as much as we can about how our culture "encodes" and "decodes" 
messages in each type of medium (that is, each form of communication, such as a memo, 
report, or speech). But secondly, it means that we must be wary of assuming that people 
hear a message exactly as we mean them to, knowing that their "frame of reference" will 
always differ to some degree from our own. If we are aware of the frame of reference of 
people with whom we work, we can adjust our communication to achieve maximum 
efficiency. 

The frame of reference for a sender and receiver is a little like a pane of glass that 
is never perfectly clear; we always see some color or mark that is on that pane that 
appears to us to be part of the communication. Our frame of reference includes cultural 
factors— ethnic, religious, regional, and organizational affiliations that color the way we 
express ourselves and hear others. Then there are personal factors— our goals, assump- 
tions, experience, and characteristics. Finally, there are situational factors that have to 
do with the specific moment in which communication is sent or received: The sender- 
receiver relationship, the context, and the environment. For example, if you believe 
you're finally being called in to discuss a major issue you've been trying to discuss with 
your superior for weeks, but instead only relatively trivial matters are discussed, you will 
have some "static" on the line. If you are trying to tell someone something critical about 

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a new task you are assigning while they are giving half their attention to apparatus 
maintenance, or while excess noise intrudes in the background, do not expect them to 
remember well what you chose to tell them in such a distracting context. Finally, con- 
sider your relationship with the other party and determine what that person knows and 
expects of you. We do not readily drop and reconstruct our perceptions. How you are per- 
ceived will affect what the listener hears you saying. 

B. Principles of Oral vs. Written Communication 

Researchers have sorted out five characteristics that tend to be unique to oral , as 
opposed to written, human communication. The first is that speech is transactional . By 
that we mean that it is an "action across" a distance—as the components of the word 
suggest. Communication is sent and received, as is a letter. Even though the sender and 
receiver are in the same space, the message must cross the distance between two 
different minds— which may be a wide gap ! Unlike a letter or a report, oral communi- 
cation is not static, so it is difficult to plan. Indeed, it may be harmful if too much of the 
conversation is "planned out." Thus, a fire officer must engage in many spontaneous, yet 
important, conversations with firefighters. 

Unlike a written memo, a spoken communication is always dynamic and shaped by 
both speaker and receiver at once. In fact, that is the second characteristic of human 
conversation. It is a continuous , interactive , and adaptive process. It is arbitrary to say 
when communication begins and ends. In a formal speech there is an opportunity to plan 
on how your message can be adapted to a specific audience. But still, once you are giving 
the speech, you'll make some instantaneous adaptations based upon nonverbal and some- 
times verbal reactions of the audience. Later in this unit, we will talk about how you can 
plan for those adaptations. However, in a two-person, face-to-face conversation, action 
and reaction are so fast that we can only provide you general guidelines for planning your 
conversation. 

All verbal communication (spoken and written) can be classified according to how 
much interaction occurs between sender and receiver. At one end of the continuum is 
spontaneous, two-person, face-to-face communication in which it is difficult to say who is 
the sender and who is the receiver. Further along is a slightly more formal, structured 
communication in which two people address the same topic; then there is the formal 
meeting, in which exchange occurs among members relating to a shared purpose. There 
may be a nominal leader, but the spotlight will pass from one sender to another, and the 
most effective senders will be the best listeners. 

In a formal speech setting, it is clear who the speaker is and who the audience is, but 
even so, the interaction between the speaker and the audience will produce some instan- 
taneous changes in communication. 

The tendency in modern communication is to become more interactive, so that 
efficiency is increased. Computer technology is now allowing mass communication sys- 
tems to be developed that are more interactive. With two-way cable systems, people are 
literally now able to talk back to their TVs. This interaction between man and machine is 
also producing breakthroughs in home smoke detectors which can interact directly with 
the fire department. A book is probably the least interactive piece of communication in 
that reader reaction to the book can only produce change in the content of the book when 



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the next edition comes out, which may be several years. It says the same thing to each 
reader, no matter what the reader needs from it. 

Thus, the degree of interaction affects the adaptiveness of communication. The 
more interactive a communication is, the more difficult it is to plan for, but on the other 
hand, the easier it is to correct or adjust misinformation or intent or feelings. 

The third characteristic of oral communication is that it has two dimensions , a 
content and a relational dimension. Most of our content is carried verbally, while more oT 
the emotional communication is carried on the nonverbal code. Written communication 
attempts to approximate some of this feeling with symbols like "!!" or by increasing the 
size of certain words like "NOW," but they are mere words on a page compared to the 
ability of our face to convey feelings and our ability to punctuate intensity with tone of 
voice and other "paraverbal cues." Sometimes people's feelings thunder so loud you can't 
hear what they're saying. As a firefighter, you've certainly had to "ventilate" a hysterical 
person's emotion in order to get from them needed information such as the location of a 
child's bedroom or a gas cutoff. 

But even in nonemergency face-to-face communication, we convey how we feel 
about a subject, which leads to the fourth characteristic about face-to-face oral 
communication: we cannot NOT communicate . This is true because all human behavior is 
communication. All behavior has message value; even our silence communicates. If a 
student in the class is staring out the window and indicating by nonverbal gestures that he 
or she is not involved with what is going on, this person is, in fact, communicating meaning 
to other people. The student does not want to communicate, but is, by the very act of 
trying NOT to communicate. Thus, silence and stoic mannerisms still communicate 
meaning to other people. So in a two-person conversation, it is impossible that any part of 
that conversation be called a period in which nothing was broadcast. 

Finally, all communication is either symmetrical or complementary . Our 
communication is symmetrical when we mirror each other's behavior. If two people are 
sitting face-to-face talking, notice how many times their nonverbal behavior mirrors the 
other person's— one crosses her legs, and the other does the same, etc. We almost seem 
impelled to respond physically and psychologically as others do. When you stare, they 
stare. If you will, it is what we call "the principle of empathy," leading one compassionate 
man to say: "Never suck a lemon in front of a french horn player." 

About 50 years ago, anthropologists formulated the concepts of symmetrical and 
complementary behavior while studying primitive tribes. While reciprocal behavior that is 
labelled "symmetrical" is easy to see, "complementary" relational behavior is not as easily 
observed. If symmetrical behavior minimizes the differences between people, 
complementary behavior maximizes the differences. It involves representing a contrasting 
viewpoint from the other person. We may speak from a different role, as in teacher- 
student, parent-child, or officer-blue shirt relationships. 

The problem with complementary communication is that roles sometimes become 
rigid and predictable; there is no "give" to them. (Of course, this is also an extreme in 
symmetrical behavior.) That is, while it is good for a child to be dependent upon the 
mother, at some point that complementary relationship must change. As you develop 
conversations with firefighters, you do not want them to become completely predictable 
and rigid— even in fireground settings. However, there must be some relationship between 



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the stimulus of your command and the response of their firefighting behavior. A direct 
order is the extreme example of complementary communication. 

Principles of Two-Person Oral Communication 

Much of your communication as a supervisor probably occurs at the two-person 
level. Certain stages and principles apply to most two-person communications in a work 
context and can help you be more effective. 

The first stage in a two-person transaction is exploratory in that both people are 
trying to determine what kind of "mood" the other person is in: Is it the right time to 
bring up their subject? How is it likely to be received? Sometimes they are trying to 
create the correct mood that would enhance the acceptance of their idea. When a 
firefighter comes to see you, it is important that you set the correct environment. This is 
generally done by nonverbal cues. If you remain by your desk, appear aloof, or continue to 
do written reports, you certainly aren't conveying much interest in the firefighter's 
conversation. 

Make sure that you do not offend the firefighter by violating any known conventions 
that exist in your fire department. You can probably quickly think of what this "etiquette" 
is. It generally relates to standing, sitting, smoking, not smoking, language choice, usual 
length of conversation, or privateness of the conversation. Also, try your best not to pre- 
judge or stereotype. If this firefighter coming to see you normally brings trivial issues to 
deal with, start with an assumption that maybe it is an important one this time. If it is an 
old problem that you have formed an opinion on many times, still try to listen anew. This 
situation may be different, and you may hear new insights. In a superior-subordinate 
relationship, the subordinate will usually let the superior ramble on to trivial topics for 
fear of offending the officer. So it should be your job to be subject-oriented. 

Once you are on the subject, you are in Stage Two of the conversation. Once the 
firefighter has stated the topic, try to engage in symmetrical communication— that is, 
empathize with him or her. Give the speaker your total attention. If you cannot do so, 
reschedule the meeting. Your ability as an active listener is critical, since you are 
generally going to have to ask questions of the firefighter in order to get a complete 
picture. Twenty-five years ago, this advice was offered: Probe, do not cross-examine; 
inquire, do not challenge; suggest, do not demand; uncover, do not trap; draw out, do not 
pump; guide, do not dominate. 

Formally, one can say there are basically five types of questions. The first is the 
open question, like "Tell me more about this problem," "How do you feel about the 
problem?" "What do you think can be done?" The second type of question is the closed 
question which requires a "yes" or "no" or specific data, like "Do you have a degree in Fire 
Science?" or "How old is that piece of equipment?" The third is the mirror question, which 
means you merely rephrase the firefighter's answer to a previous question: "So you think 
this would improve the fire department?" "So you have some experience in this area?" 
The fourth is a probing question; like the mirror question, it is another way to elicit more 
information. Probes are usually short, like "Why?" or "How come?" Often the most 
effective probe is silence followed by "Tell me more." Finally, there is the leading 
question in which you are trying to direct the firefighter to your conclusion. These are 
generally dysfunctional and shouldn't be used. An example would be, "What do you think of 
this stupid policy?" or "Don't you think it's time to stop screwing around? or "Isn't this 
really a trivial issue?" 

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The fire officer must resist the temptation to feel defensive. You will naturally feel 
that a firefighter is trying to get something from you and we can all point to times in 
which we got burned by trusting a subordinate, but you have to start from the assumption 
that the firefighter is well-intended and not throw up your guard the minute he or she 
starts talking. Your goal is to minimize the differences between you and find a win-win 
solution. The issue is not "who wins this round," but how you can best maximize mutual 
gains . When you think you're there, it's time to terminate the meeting. 

The best way to terminate a meeting is by a concise summary of what has taken 
place and a statement of what you think you've agreed to. If there is not complete 
agreement at that point, then you simply schedule another time or you can continue the 
discussion. To push beyond a brief amiable conversation often results in feelings surfacing 
that may reduce your ability to solve the problem. So don't be afraid to stop a 
conversation and schedule another time to meet. However, if it appears that you are 
procrastinating by simply postponing decisions, you may want to reconsider this behavior 
in your case. 

C. The Three "Rs" of Effective Written Reports 

The major advantage of written reports is your ability to plan them carefully. 
However, the disadvantage is that without constant feedback from your readership, you 
have to be extra careful to be clear in the first place. Also, since most of us are 
experiencing information overload, it is imperative that you be concise. If you'll use the 
three "Rs" as a guideline in preparing your reports, you'll discover that you can write brief, 
but effective, reports. 

The first "R" is reason . Try to write the purpose of your report in one clear 
sentence. Until you can state in one sentence what the purpose of the report is, you're 
probably not sure of it yourself. Secondly, it has become more and more important for the 
reader to know up front the resource base of a report. If it is original research, this would 
constitute a statement of design in which you describe the number of subjects surveyed 
and how the data were gathered. However, most reports are summaries of several other 
studies or sources of information. It is usually possible to state them very concisely. A 
bibliography is one way to express the data base of the report. 

The third "R" is results . This refers both to the findings or conclusions of your 
report, and to the knowledge you wish to leave with the reader— the "result" of reading 
your study. To achieve the result you want, you need to plan for it. For many writers, it 
is often easier to assess the specific objectives or sub-parts of a report by asking the 
question, "What will the reader know after reading this report?" Based on your answer, 
write your report subheadings. They will keep the reader's attention focused on the topic 
at hand. Next, ask the question, "Do they need to know all of that in order to meet the 
major objective of the study?" This analysis will often lead to two reports: the short 
version and the long version. The short version has become commonly known as an 
"Executive Summary." This report is generally under six pages. Some corporations 
demand that it be less than three pages. The short version will state the purpose, data 
base, and a very brief statement of findings. 



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D. Nonverbal and Paraverbal Communication 

While we consciously plan or form the verbal components of communication— unless 
they are accompanied by a high degree of emotion— we often leave nonverbal and 
paraverbal cues to the dictates of our unconscious mind. By nonv erbal, we mean those 
cues that don't use words at all— a snap of the fingers, a nose in the air, a hand on the 
shoulder. By para verbal, we mean signals that accompany words, such as loudness- 
softness, swiftness-slowness, or emphasis on certain words. Sometimes, these cues reflect 
the speaker's attitude more accurately than the words themselves! 

It is therefore extremely important that, as a communicator, you monitor your own 
nonverbal and paraverbal signals as well as those of the people with whom you speak. This 
will enable you to avoid sending contradictory messages, or reveal attitudes better 
concealed. Sometimes you will discover feelings you wish to conceal even from yourself. 
It will also help you to see how someone is responding to you and your message, so that you 
can modify your presentation to increase effectiveness. Sometimes important signals- 
such as "back off" or "I'm uncomfortable"— are delivered nonverbally. You should be 
prepared to catch them. 

A caution must be introduced, however. These signals differ from culture to culture 
and person to person. You need to look for confirmation in other signals, or directly ask 
the person if what you are seeing is correct. For individuals you work with, it is possible 
to notice their personal signals for boredom, "time to go," "I disagree," or other important 
messages over a period of time. They are generally quite consistent for the same 
individual. 

There are four main areas of nonverbal communication: Eye contact, movements, 
proxemics, and body position. Eye contact tends to increase with confidence and interest 
(it is greatest in lovers or antagonists). It decreases with uneasiness or disinterest, the 
dominant communicator has been observed to break eye contact more frequently. 

Movements tend to underline verbal expressions, often adding emphasis; to regulate 
verbal interactions, by signaling "your turn to talk" or "I'm done"; to show a shift in 
feeling , generally through a shift in body position; and to show impatience or readiness to 
leave, mostly by the amount or constancy of movement (the swinging foot or tapping 
finger are common examples). 

Proxemics— the relative position of bodies in space— often reveals the closeness of 
relationship (the more intimate the connection, the closer the speakers) and dominance. 
The dominant person may invade the other's territory or personal space, or place himself 
or herself physically higher than the other. 

Paraverbal communication includes the way a verbal communication is delivered— 
the speed, pitch, volume, and stress (emphasis). By combining paraverbal and nonverbal 
cues, one often finds an excellent indication of feelings. When both signals seem to be 
going in a direction different from words actually spoken, you have "channel inconsis- 
tency"— something different is being broadcast on each frequency. It is now up to you to 
find the most tactful and helpful way of enabling the other person to offer a fuller 
expression of feelings: "Is there still something troubling you about this assignment?" "Is 
this a bad time to take this up with you?" Often, a good catch of nonverbal or paraverbal 
signals can save the whole ballgame for a project or relationship. 

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SECTION II. ADAPTING COMMUNICATION STRATEGY TO AN AUDIENCE 

A. Primary Adaptation Skills 

The first thing a fire officer must have in order to give a successful speech is a 
preparation system. Almost all of our experience and training in communication through 
high school and college tends to deal with written communication. We learned how to 
write and rewrite until it is done correctly. It is quite natural, then, that when many 
people have to do a formal speech they revert to their written training and prepare an oral 
speech by writing an essay. This, however, is an ineffective approach that is likely to kill 
audience enthusiasm. 

It is difficult to write effective oral language. We don't talk the way we write. 
Playwrights are good at writing oral language but it takes a good deal of practice. Also, it 
is difficult to read a manuscript effectively while standing in front of a large group of 
people. It tends to make you nervous and ill-at-ease. But you also don't sound like 
yourself and you don't have the opportunity to take advantage of the most positive 
elements of the speaker's situation, which is that you can adapt your language and 
arguments based on audience feedback. You can't do that if you've already written it 
down in advance. 

Another reason why people write out speeches is that they're afraid that they will 
forget what they came to say. We've all felt the fear of standing up and looking at a group 
of people who are all looking at us waiting for our next utterance and we won't know what 
it is going to be. The answer to this problem is the first rule of an extemporaneous speech 
preparation system which is: Prepare oral rough drafts , with topic headings and 
"reminder" notes only. You need to construct your speech in the medium in which it is 
going to be given, which is face-to-face. You can do this by finding a room where you will 
not be disturbed and start going through the ideas you plan to talk on orally. Do not sit at 
your desk and imagine what the speech will be. Stand up and speak out loud . Winston 
Churchill used to use this technique with a slight flair. He would stand up naked before a 
floor-length mirror with a cigar in one hand and a martini in the other. We are not 
endorsing this particular approach, but it jjs important that we hear ourselves speak. 

If you jot down on a piece of paper the four or five ideas or arguments you want to 
make, you can use that as a basis for beginning your oral drafts. Remember, never have 
more than five points and use only a phrase or a word to stand for each point in your 
outline. An audience cannot retain in their minds 17 ideas, but if you ask them to 
remember one thing, or even up to five things, they can do that. This rule of no more than 
five points applies not only to a four-minute speech but to a whole hour presentation. 

Go through your speech orally on your feet about three times . You'll notice that 
each time the speech is slightly different. You'll use different expressions, sometimes 
different examples; your conclusion could be slightly different. But the speech is 
essentially the same. What has happened is you have developed three or four different 
ways of expressing the same idea and with this ability have eliminated a major fear— that 
of forgetting what you're going to say. There is no way you're going to forget the three or 
five major ideas you came to tell that audience. 



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You will also have some other advantages. You are now prepared to speak in your 
own oral vocabulary— it sounds like you. You have accomplished what a lot of people have 
a hard time doing, which is sounding the same way on your feet as you do talking. Even 
people that have never met you will know that that is your natural vocabulary and this will 
increase your effectiveness. 

The next advantage is that you can speak directly to your audience and adapt to 
their feedback. If somebody stops you with a question, you can answer and pick up where 
you left off. This becomes very awkward when you are trying to read from a manuscript. 
Finally, remember that an audience will forgive anything but insincerity . You need to 
demonstrate your sincerity by being yourself. But you also need to demonstrate that you 
know what is on the minds of this specific audience because you have taken the time to 
find out who they are. 

B. Adapting a Speech to an Audience 

In building your speech, you want to adapt it to the unique audience that you are 
speaking to. To do this, you will want to examine three things: Your burden of proof 
before this audience, which types of rational arguments would be best, and adjusting your 
appeal to the heroic self-image of your audience. 

You start by asking yourself the question, "What does the audience already know 
about my subject? "If you're talking about smoke detectors, what arguments do you think 
they already believe? Are you going to have to give examples of the different types of 
smoke detectors? If so, how much detail do they need? The next thing you ask yourself is, 
"What are the major reasons this audience is not doing what I want them to do?" If it is 
the County Board and you want them to adopt a mandatory smoke detector ordinance, 
what are the reasons you think they might have for not adopting it? You want to make 
sure you build your speech around answering those objections. 

It is also important to determine whether this is a hostile or friendly audience. Do 
you have a long-standing reputation of being fair and direct? If so, you want to draw upon 
that credibility early in your presentation. You also want to locate the common ground 
between you and your audience. Are we all parents who have a concern for our children? 
Are we all taxpayers concerned that our money is well-spent? Are we all citizens who 
have a concern that our community is safe? Are we all professional firefighters who wish 
to do a competent job? The more specific this common ground can be, the better off you 
are. So, if you're speaking before the Lion's Club, you have the privilege of saying that 
you, too, are a Lion or a veteran, etc. 

Nobody consciously holds conclusions for illogical reasons. We all expect to justify 
our behavior by rational arguments. So even though one may use emotional appeals, an 
audience will still expect you to make a case, a logical explanation of why your conclusion 
is correct. The building blocks for this case are the four types of rational arguments. The 
first is authority assertion . "The NFPA believes that this law is needed." If they are 
unfamiliar with the authority you refer to, you may need to "credential" these experts and 
prove they know what they're talking about. 



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The second type of argument is sign argument . All of diagnostic medicine is signal 
argument. We look for symptoms that point to a disease. If you were giving a talk on 
reducing arson fires, you might be listing a number of signs that the audience can look for 
that would indicate a certain community or building may become, or is becoming, a target 
for arson. The third form is argument from example . The most common form is a case 
study. If you're arguing for mandatory smoke detector laws, you might look for similar 
counties who have adopted the law and have been successful. This would be an argument 
from example. 

Often, the least debatable type of argument is causal argument . For example, when 
an arson investigator, through photographs, can trace the fire back to its origin and then 
through chemical analysis can determine what form of accelerant was used, he has made a 
cause and effect argument. You need to be conscious, then, in selecting your rational 
forms of argument of which ones will be most persuasive for your specific audience. 

The final consideration you need to make is how to adapt your argument to the 
heroic self-image of your audience. The first question you ask is, "What is the unique 
identity of this audience?" Are they elected officials? Public servants? Senior citizens? 
Knights of Columbus? Moose? Elk? Optimists? Masons? Teachers? You'll discover that 
in most of your public speaking situations, the people you are speaking before have an 
identity which is more than just their name. They have a heroic self-image in which they 
see themselves doing some positive good in society. This is what you want to appeal to. 

Consider firefighting as an example. What is its heroic self-image? The answer is 
saving lives and property. But if you know more about the fire service and its identity, 
you can be more specific. For example, think for a moment— what do you see when you 
think of saving lives and property? From a suppression point of view, you may see yourself 
making a forced entry into a burning building. As a paramedic, you may see yourself 
performing CPR. As a public fire education officer, you may see yourself giving a lecture 
before school children on the techniques of "drop and roll." As an inspector, you may see 
the need for stronger fire codes. When you can talk this specifically about the heroic self- 
image of your audience, you are now in a position to identify their image and praise it and 
show them how adoption of your ideas is consistent with their heroic image. 

Another example is the Masons. If your image of the Shriners is the view of a bunch 
of guys in funny hats riding around in silly vehicles in parades, then you probably won't be 
very successul when you talk to the Shriners about supporting your fire prevention 
program. However, if you've taken the time to know how much local money has been 
raised in the last few years for children's burn centers, if you know what regional burn 
center that Shrine organization supports, and if you knew of a couple of local cases of 
badly burned and injured children that they had helped, then you might be in a position, 
after explaining your awareness of this in your speech, to argue that active support of your 
fire prevention program would reduce the incidents of burned children and thus be 
consistent with the heroic image of the Shriner. 

Thus, knowing what you have to prove, making the right argument, and adapting it to 
the heroic self-image of your audience, are the three keys to a successful speech. 



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SECTION III. SENDER AND RECEIVER OBSTACLES 

A. Identifying and Overcoming Obstacles 

We have all had the experience of ending a meeting satisfied that we understand the 
other person's view, only to find weeks later that we were completely off track. This is 
often because of sender or receiver obstacles that have acted like static on a telephone, 
obscuring what was heard. By active listening, we can reduce communication barriers. 

The listener has a key role in the communication process. He or she must feel free 
to ask questions— and the speaker should recognize that this questioning is an important 
part of their exchange. The listener may ensure clarity by repeating key parts of the 
message in his or her own words, and by summarizing what has been said to doublecheck. 
A good listener also offers constructive feedback when appropriate. The feedback given 
may relate to the message, the speaker, or both. 

Good feedback is usually descriptive rather than evaluative (Not "that's a crummy 
idea" but "I have some reservations about the timelines"). It is specific, not general; it 
considers the needs of both sender and receiver; is well-timed (not too late to have 
impact) and it is critical (it is directed toward behavior the other party can change). 

B. Sender and Receiver Obstacles 

Below are some common barriers for sender and receiver that can seriously impede 
communication. Which apply to you? Are there others that are common blocks? What 
can you do to remove these barriers and improve your overall communication efficiency? 



SENDER 

Giving a hard sell. 

Killing enthusiasm by being indifferent 
or over-critical. 

Not being attentive to listener reac- 
tions. 

Choosing the wrong communication 
medium. 

Inefficient or incorrect use of the 
medium. 

Communicating too much or too little. 

Not organizing the message for maxi- 
mum clarity. 

Not adapting the message to the re- 
ceiver's frame of reference. 

Being too vague. 

Cutting off questions or feedback. 



Killing enthusiasm by being indifferent 
or over-critical. 

Cutting in to anticipate what the 
sender will say. 

Not giving the message your full atten- 
tion. 

Not asking questions when something is 
unclear. 

Giving feedback on areas not in sender's 
control. 

Being too vague. 

Turning off message because of poor 
attitude to sender. 

Blowing your cool. 

Not expressing helpful feedback. 



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SUPPLEMENTARY READING 
FIRE SERVICE SUPERVISION: INCREASING TEAM EFFECTIVENESS 

UNIT THREE: MOTIVATION 

SECTION I. PRINCIPLES OF EFFECTIVE MOTIVATION 

A. Creating a Motivating Environment 

Too often we fail to take the key issue of motivation into account when we give new 
assignments, ask for a special effort, or evaluate procedures. Sometimes we also make 
the mistake of assuming that what motivates us, motivates others. In either case, the 
result of our failure to motivate is often lower quality performance, discord, poor self- 
esteem, or poor team spirit. Preparing a motivation strategy should be as much taken for 
granted as a management concern as the preparation of the task plan itself. 

Our behavior is motivated by need. However, seeking to motivate by appealing to 
human need is a little like aiming at a moving target, since the dominant needs of an 
individual do not remain constant. Yet, we do share common needs, and should be able to 
empathize with other human beings, though our emphasis on certain needs will differ. 

Maslow's hierarchy of needs, long a well-known reference in the area of motivation, 
distinguishes five levels of human need. Physiological needs are the basics needed to 
sustain life, including food, clothing, and shelter. Safety needs relate to security and self- 
preservation, and our ability to satisfy physiological needs beyond the present moment. 
Social needs include our wish to be accepted by others and belong to a larger group. The 
need for esteem is the wish to win recognition and respect from fellow group members. 
Finally, fulfillment or self-actualization is the need to fulfill what we believe is our fullest 
potential as individuals. Maslow believed that until our lowest level needs are satisfied, 
we are not able to address the next-highest level. It is pointless to talk to someone about 
personal fulfillment if their major concern is putting supper on the table tonight. 

Herzberg was a researcher who carried Maslow's work one step further by investi- 
gating the effect of need fulfillment at the workplace at each Maslow level. He found 
that when the three lower levels were fulfilled— physiological, safety, and social needs— 
the effect was to maintain a steady, average performance and prevent a drop in quality. 
Only "esteem" and "fulfillment" needs qualified as true motivators, for which need satis- 
faction actually increases efficiency. 

What does this say to you as supervisor? First, that you need to see that "hygienic" 
factors— the lowest level of motivator— are addressed as well as possible, because until 
they are you are always performing beneath capacity. Secondly, you need to get to know 
your fellow workers as individuals so that you can learn their personal concepts of esteem 
and fulfillment. Then, you will be able to match individual and organizational goals and 
rewards, creating a motivating environment that will greatly increase your overall 
efficiency and work satisfaction. 

Sometimes, supervisors try to use human needs in a negative way. They seek to use 
the fear that a critical need will go unmet to "motivate" workers. 

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Sometimes referred to as coercive or negative motivation, fear motivation refers to 
the external application of a physical or psychological threat to bring about activity. And, 
that is exactly what it does: it may cause movement— neither commitment nor true 
motivation. It becomes an "incentive" only when one's usual relationships with the 
environment, and/or hygienic needs, are threatened. In reality, coercive motivation or 
negative incentives are usually counterproductive to the attainment of organizational 
objectives—if not directly, indirectly. The coerced person will generally provide a 
minimum level of effort, and often means to "get back" at the person who used 
intimidation. Consequently, it is generally undesirable and should be used sparingly and in 
appropriate circumstances only. Rather than resorting to intimidation or threat, the 
progressive manager should attempt to deal with the situation by seeking sound solutions 
to the real problems and providing more opportunities for positive motivation. The 
manager and his agency must continually work to satisfy, not frustrate, the lower and 
higher levels of needs within the department. 

Different organization types tend to emphasize different motivational approaches. 
"Coercive" organizations such as the military rely heavily on negative motivation: "do as I 
say and you won't get hurt." The organizational member is not expected to do the work 
for love, and a certain amount of hostility resulting from order-giving is considered 
normal. 

"Normative" organizations such as churches, schools, and hospitals tend to motivate 
members through social approval, belonging, and esteem earned by obeying group 
"norms." Sometimes they reward with symbols such as badges and uniforms. Members are 
generally expected to have a moral commitment to their work and— in contrast to 
"coercive" organization members— to love it. 

"Utilitarian" organizations are economically oriented businesses that reward with 
material incentives. Members are not generally expected to have emotional ties to their 
work, but are assumed to be motivated largely by personal benefits. 

If you consider the fire department as an organization type, you will notice that it is 
both "coercive" and "normative" in some respects. Some management experts believe this 
confuses the "psychological contract" an individual has with an organization. You are 
asking them to take orders and love it— which is not humanly possible ! Some experts feel 
this conflict can be handled only by confronting it directly, and telling your people "up 
front" that when they take orders, they are not expected to love them, though it is an 
unavoidable part of the job. At the same time, you need to be able to modulate from 
fireground to nonfireground situations and make good use of the normative aspect of the 
organization, using appropriate rewards that reinforce the need for esteem and belonging. 

B. Motivating Personalities in a Fire Service Context 

One broad division in motivation is between the "inner-directed" and "outer- 
directed" personality. Outer-directed people are motivated by the expectations of others, 
and needs signals of approval from others to reassure them that they are on the right 
track. The inner-directed person has an internal sense of what the right track is and seeks 
satisfaction by fulfilling personal goals. You motivate the first type by reassurance and 
praise; you motivate the second type primarily by appropriate opportunities for 
development. 



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A good supervisor recognizes both universal motivators and personal motivators in 
subordinates, knowing that even universal concerns are expressed different ways for indi- 
viduals. Within a given fire department, there may be a surprising diversity of 
personalities, and people may have joined for very different reasons. Some seek an 
opportunity for leadership, some comradeship, some a chance for community service, some 
seek other things entirely. For each individual, there are different "keys" that fit their 
unique combination of needs and unlock their potential. Just as you match a task to a 
subordinate's skills, you must plan a motivation strategy to match their needs. 

Occasionally, however, you are bound to meet individuals for whom none of the keys 
fit. It is rare, but it does happen. At such times, you need to remember that, as 
supervisor, you can only create the climate for achievement by matching apparent needs 
and incentives. The individuals in a sense must always motivate himself or herself— that 
is, it is up to the individual to accept or ignore the incentives for achievement. 

C. Motivation and Management Culture 

As we have seen from the last activity, individuals are motivated in a variety of 
ways. Groups in the fire service also have motivations. The excellent supervisor recog- 
nizes that what motivates a fire service organizational group is based upon several 
factors. These include the particular combination of individual motivators that the group 
has, the leadership style that the supervisor/manager uses, the way power is used in the 
team relationship, the way the team handles stress, and, finally, the special "management 
culture" of the fire department. 

By "management culture" we mean the characteristics and internal climate that 
make each organization (or fire department) a distinct community. Culture includes 
values, traditions, and other characteristics. Many cultural elements have a direct effect 
on motivation. Three of the major elements in this regard are the fire department 
mission, the organizational structure, and the type of department. 

By fire department mission, we mean how it chooses to interpret and carry out its 
mandate to "protect and save life and property from fire and other hazards." For 
example, a department that emphasizes suppression is most likely to motivate a team that 
values competently demonstrating their skills by "knocking down" a tough fire, investing 
the majority of its resources in updating and maintaining equipment, fire or emergency 
incident simulations and training in new suppression of emergency techniques, public 
heroism (sometimes accompanied by private humility), or quick, obvious results for their 
efforts. 

A supervisor can successfully motivate such a team by such tactics as heavily 
scheduling actual simulations and "skull sessions" to keep skills sharp, encouraging team 
members to research how other departments handle the "big ones," or providing opportu- 
nities for personal physical fitness improvement. 

In contrast, an emphasis on fire prevention, inspections, code enforcement, and pub- 
lic education is most likely to work in a management culture that values making the public 
responsible for its own safety, and providing the tools to do so; planning its work ahead on 
a long-range basis, and being willing to wait for "payoff or results to become obvious; 
decreasing personal risk of danger to themselves (perhaps because of age or physical 



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condition); or decreasing numbers of fires or emergency incidents based on records and 
statistics. 

A supervisor can motivate such a team by rewarding the decrease of fires and 
emergency incidents, providing resources and organizational support for innovative pro- 
grams, or developing (or encouraging the team to develop) strong coordinative linkages 
with many community organizations. 

By organizational structure, we mean the amount of centralization of power and 
authority to decide and act. In a highly participatory structure in which power is distrib- 
uted, key values include opportunities for personal growth through decisionmaking, self- 
direction and accountability, and shared responsibility. A supervisor in such a culture can 
motivate by delegating out and down as much as possible to those who have the skill , 
experience , and information to handle the work; training team members to carry their 
supervisory functions on an "acting" basis occasionally; and encouraging the team to plan, 
carry out, evaluate, and give feedback to the supervisor on the results of special projects. 

A highly centralized or authoritarian structure, on the other hand, will motivate a 
culture in which a strict chain of command, formal structures, set routines, and a quasi- 
military image and lifestyle are governing values. In this type of setting, the effective 
supervisor will motivate best by honoring and using the chain of command when possible, 
clarifying job descriptions and "who does what when" for everyone, giving praise and 
rewards for honoring procedures and policies, and structuring the "nonemergency" life of 
the team to the degree that is comfortable. 

Finally, the type of department— all paid, all volunteer, or combination— may 
dramatically affect team motivators. For example, an all-paid professional department 
may be motivated by such considerations as salary and benefits, job security, retirement 
options, or not having to take "orders" from "1000+ bosses" in the community. 

An all unpaid professional (volunteer) department team, in contrast, might be moti- 
vated by opportunities for community service in a much needed area, recognition from the 
public, pride in the department's history, and the relative "freedom" from governmental 
bureaucracy. 

For a combination department (paid and unpaid professionals), motivators include 
having a number of other people "share the load" and the responsibility; having paid per- 
sonnel available 24 hours per day; or at least during regular "8 to 5" workdays; the cost 
effectiveness of the combination system; and having volunteers with special skills and 
experience contribute. 

The skilled supervisor will motivate the team by emphasizing all the benefits of their 
department's particular style. 



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SECTION II. PERFORMANCE MEASUREMENT AND MOTIVATION 

A. Effective Performance Standards 

We often do not consider performance standards in relation to motivation, but in 
fact they may have a powerful effect— for good or ill. Where poor standards are in place, 
personnel are robbed of the drive to achieve and a sense of direction. Sometimes they are 
demoralized by a sense of unfairness or confusion. Appropriate standards tell the 
employee exactly what is expected, decreasing stress and increasing performance. In a 
sense, standards form the framework for success in a given organization. 

Performance standards serve three basic purposes. First, they provide an objective 
basis for assessing performance and development needs. Second, they state criteria for 
individual success. Third, they relate individual performance to organizational objectives. 

In order to fulfill these purposes, performance standards must meet certain cri- 
teria. They should apply to only one job element — otherwise, how do you properly note 
performance that is solid in one area, but weak in the other area listed with it? They 
should be specific as to the level of achievement required and any time lines; anything you 
assume but do not state is something the subordinate cannot be accountable for. They 
should be attainable, or they will only cause frustration. And they must be legally 
defensible according to all laws applicable to your department, which means free of bias 
(not penalizing any groups on the basis of non-job related characteristics) and valid (really 
necessary to on-the-job achievement). 

In order to maximize acceptance and prevent a number of needless problems, it is 
highly advisable to involve employees in standard development. Standards should be the 
product of honest, open negotiation. It should also be clear to the employee how per- 
formance will be monitored. If you find it hard to point to specific evidence that could be 
used to show what level of standard achievement has been attained, it is a sign your 
standard was too vague. 

Through constructive use of performance standards, you can identify employee 
strengths and weaknesses, formulate relevant employee development plans that will up- 
grade job performance, and help achieve organizational goals. 

B. Performance Appraisal Sessions as Positive Motivators 

Supervisors tend to look at the use of performance appraisals as a black and white or 
win-lose situation. White (or win) because they are able to identify employee strengths 
and recognize the employee formally for good work. Black (or lose) because they now 
have to formally confront the employee with substandard performance. 

Often in appraisal sessions we focus on unsatisfactory performance areas, taking 
competence for granted wherever we do not say otherwise. To do this is not only to miss 
an excellent opportunity to motivate the employee, but also to risk discouraging and 
embittering an employee who worked hard in areas you did not mention at all. In order for 
appraisal to work, we need to use it to improve performance by motivation. 



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Performance appraisal sessions are an opportunity to discuss and measure the indi- 
vidual's progress toward goals and objectives, and meeting performance standards; to 
discover discrepancies between expectation and achievement; and to find ways of bringing 
performance up to standard (which involves understanding exactly what interfered with 
achievement). 

Part of a successful session is what happens before it: seeing that the employee 
thoroughly understands the criteria to be applied. To ensure this, the following must exist 
and be available to the subordinate: 

Clear goals for the position, 

Clear action objectives for the position, 

Achievable standards of performance, 

Written criteria by which the performance will be judged, 

A workable plan for the evaluation, and 

An accurate, current job description. 

It is also crucial to understand the purposes of performance appraisal, both from the 
perspective of the organization and that of the subordinate being appraised. 

From the organization's point of view, performance appraisal is needed to: 

Ensure that goals and objectives are being met, 

Make decisions on placement, promotions, and terminations, 

Help direct activities, such as training, which will improve performance, 

Encourage supervisors to monitor continuously, 

Motivate staff to higher achievement, 

Improve manager-subordinate relationships, and 

Discover organizational or individual problems which might have far-reaching 

impact. 

The individual also has an "agenda" for performance appraisal: 

• To get credit for work performed, 

• To get needed coaching and training, 

• To get encouragement for progress made (through routine feedback), 

• To re-affirm their personal and professional competence, and 

• To receive rewards (promotions, raises, privileges). 

These two sets of goals are sometimes conflicting. The firefighter may want only 
positive feedback and be unwilling to accept negative feedback. The organization may 
want the captain to emphasize the negatives, so that performance will be improved. This 
creates stress and conflict, and requires objectivity, skillful communication, and maturity 
to overcome. 

The session itself should be planned to ensure clarity and motivation. You can do 
this by starting and ending on a positive note, and giving the employee plenty of 
opportunities to explain his or her perception of any problems. You wish to work with the 
employee to find a constructive direction, not impose a solution that does not address the 
problem he or she sees. To ensure that you understood each other, prepare a session 
summary together and plan a brief followup meeting within two weeks to formalize 

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performance standards for the next year. Remaining details on a successful strategy for 
improvement may be worked out at this time. 

An additional tool available to the supervisor is the personal growth agreement. It is 
generally recognized that retention is enhanced through the process of writing down key 
thoughts. In a situation in which you might ordinarily give a strong oral warning, consider 
supplementing your effort by sitting down with the person to write a mutually drafted 
agreement describing the intended change. This should have a positive emphasis and occur 
with some immediacy to the problem, not be held until appraisal time. 



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SUPPLEMENTARY READING 
FIRE SERVICE SUPERVISION: INCREASING TEAM EFFECTIVENES 

UNIT FOUR: COUNSELING 



SECTION I. WHEN DO YOU COUNSEL? 

A. What Is Counseling? 

Counseling, as we speak of it here, may be defined as a two-way communication in 
which the supervisor assists an employee to behave in a more rewarding manner. You are 
counseling when you advise employees of behavior that should be changed, assist them in 
adjusting to a new position or location, recommend courses of action, or try to get at the 
root of a persistent "attitude problem," to name only a few situations. 

Counseling may be needed any time there is a difference between what is planned 
and expected, and what is actually happening, caused by the behavior of one or more 
individuals. This difference can be in results, quantity, quality, or the schedule (time 
frame) of work. 

Workers are quick to notice when someone is "getting away with something," or in 
some way is not being as effective as expected. If a person or fire department unit is 
allowed to establish a lower standard, it will be resented by coworkers, and most likely the 
performance of the entire unit will drop. 

The supervisor must enter the picture and counsel the individual or group which is 
not meeting standards. This ensures both counselees and coworkers that treatment will be 
fair and equal, and that no one gets special privileges to "break the rules." 

It is crucial that the immediate supervisor be alert to changes in individual 
performance so that unsatisfactory behavior can be corrected, and high standards for the 
unit maintained. 

"Counseling" is often a euphemism for a "chewing out" or delivering an ultimatum to 
behave correctly. In other words, a one-way communication. Counselees will resent not 
being able to "save face" or not having any control over their destinies. An ultimatum 
may be taken as a challenge (an excuse for conflict escalation) or may cause long-term 
resentment. 

In contrast, the skilled supervisor makes the counseling a two-way discussion, 
focused on discovering why the difference exists between planned and actual results. 

The counselor should convey an attitude of wanting to assist the counselee in 
achieving acceptable behavior. There should be an attitude of dignity, respect for the 
individual, and optimism that the necessary changes will be effected. The session should 
take place in private, in a setting where interruptions such as phone calls are unlikely. (An 
exception to this is when you are counseling an entire group.) 



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The first point to make is that it is going to be a time of reasonable, serious, two- 
way conversation, and not a "showdown" shouting match. Be relaxed, unhurried, and 
assured confidentiality if you are counseling an individual. This is critical. State the goals 
and objectives of the session: the results you expect to achieve in the session. 

The second objective is to reach agreement on the changes needed, or the facts of 
the offense(s). Unless the counselee can agree with you on the nature or seriousness of the 
poor performance or the misbehavior, he or she is not likely to be very cooperative in 
changing behavior. It is natural to be defensive when one is being criticized! Overcoming 
resistance will take a certain amount of time, but it is very important that people take 
responsibility for their own behavior. Otherwise, it's 'The only reason I come to work 
stone cold sober is because the captain makes me do it ." If this is the reasoning, the 
employee will quickly take advantage of an opportunity to backslide. 

Counseling is not necessarily limited to one session. It's not unusual for four or five 
sessions of discussion, praise, and support to occur before repairs and "healing" are 
completed. 

The third and final objective is complete resolution of the performance problem or 
complaint, and re-establishment of normal personal relationships. The counseling may 
have been stressful to both the counselee and counselor. Throughout counseling, the 
attitude should be maintained that the criticism is not of the person, but of certain 
problems or specific behavior . Once behavior becomes acceptable, no grudges will be held 
against the person. Improvement deserves notice and praise, and final resolution is a 
situation where both counselor and counselee have won . Remember, to counsel in private 
and praise in public , when possible! 

If you as supervisor are unhappy with a subordinate's behavior, you can assume that 
they also might be unhappy with their own behavior. Often, misbehavior is a subconscious 
method of announcing that a person is unhappy with a situation or has a problem she/he 
does not know how to cope with. The poor behavior can be an attention-getting device— a 
cry for help. The person may feel that "something is wrong" but not know exactly what it 
is. 

Counseling can be seen as a reply to the hidden message they are giving out that 
"something is wrong." If the counselor is able to help identify and maybe even resolve a 
superficial problem—such as poor time management or poor money management, etc., the 
counselee will have been rewarded by surmounting a nagging problem. 

If counseling forces a person to admit to an emotional or other serious problem, and 
seek professional help, that should also be seen as their reward from the counseling. 
Through "misbehavior," they were probably asking for someone to "force the issue" for 
them. 

The counselor should keep informal, private notes of the progress of a counseling 
"project," in case a problem should escalate, and formal discipline be required. Workers 
have various legal safeguards against unfair or improper discipline, so it is important that 
the evolution and history of the problem be documented. For the same reason, it is doubly 
important that counseling be done in a professional, "civilized," and dignified manner. 



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Usually and preferably, counseling is done by the immediate supervisor. This 
enhances the power image of the supervisor as the one who is able to keep the unit running 
smoothly, is able to assist subordinates, and is the provider of fair rewards and 
"punishment." Besides, the immediate supervisor is most familiar with individual 
personalities and the details of the working/living setting. The immediate supervisor is 
the one best qualified to explain, interpret, and enforce department policies, rules, and 
regulations, and to see that work and rewards are fairly distributed. 

Early on in the counseling sessions, it may become apparent that a subordinate's poor 
behavior stems from serious emotional problems, family problems, or alcohol or drug 
abuse. In such cases, the superior should not attempt either a diagnosis or a "cure," but 
should try to steer the person to appropriate professionals for help. The supervisor will 
have done enough if he or she can get the person to admit that they have a "problem" or 
need that they must address, and show them the options that they have for getting 
professional help. At any rate, the issue is that their performance is unacceptable . 
Whether their poor behavior is caused by "a problem" or simple contrariness is a moot 
point. As their supervisor, you are ready to help them. You will help them find a 
professional counselor— or you will help them out. By referring the employee to a local 
mental health center, hospital psychiatric department (for very serious cases), a local 
psychologist with a good reputation, you are building a bridge that makes it much more 
likely the employee will seek help. 

While we ordinarily think of counseling as a one-on-one situation, this is not always 
the case. There is no rule that says counseling must be one-to-one. For instance, in the 
case of horseplay, group harrassment of women or minorities, etc., it might be appropriate 
to have your superior officer present to reinforce your concern with the seriousness of an 
offense. In the latter case, you should maintain control of the process so that it doesn't 
appear that you were "afraid" or unable to handle it by yourself. 

Sometimes "the shoe is on the other foot." A subordinate will complain or gripe to 
their superior in much the same way that a superior will complain to a subordinate in a 
counseling situation. 

Griping is defined as "letting off steam" about something that is not job-related. Of 
course, the superior is not expected to be able to do anything about the weather, traffic, 
or the high cost of orthodontia, but it is a helpful stress reducer to be able to talk to 
someone about such things. The listener can only acknowledge the message and 
commisserate. 

Complaints are defined as messages relating to the job or the work place. They 
should be taken as seriously as the superior's complaints about the subordinate's behavior 
in a counseling session. Many good ideas come lodged in complaints. Take as much 
responsibility as you think is appropriate and seek a quick, fair resolution. If it's beyond 
the scope of your responsibility and authority, pass it along the chain of command, and 
keep the complainer informed of your involvement and progress. A complaint that is 
ignored can become a formal grievance . If you merely shrug off a complaint, you are 
announcing your ineffectiveness! 



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In summary, the following points should be stressed: 

1. Counseling is not strictly a "negative" action, done only when there is a 
problem. It is also positive in that it prevents future problems and develops 
people to their highest potential. 

2. Counseling is always a two-way communication. 

3. Counseling allows the supervisor to share whatever wisdom he or she has to 
assist both the individual and the fire department. 

B. Overview of the Counseling Process 

Initial counseling sessions are always difficult. Probably the toughest aspect of 
counseling is trying to listen to the counselee's perceptions of the problem, and help the 
counselee work through a solution. The counselor will frequently draw his/her own 
conclusions about what the problem is and what the solution should be without hearing out 
the counselee's side of the story. That is a natural reaction on the part of the counselor. 

Human nature and most social settings involve giving advice. In a counseling 
situation, this can often be counter-productive for several reasons. First, the counselor's 
perception of the problem may not be accurate; the counselee should be able to fully 
define the problem for himself /herself so that he/she feels comfortable with the 
situation. Second, and more importantly, if the counselee does not define the solution to 
his/her problem correctly, the solution may be difficult to live with, and he or she may not 
really "put his/her heart into" solving the problem. It is critical that you bite your tongue 
at times so that you can hear the counselee without imposing your own will. 

In beginning the counseling process, climate-setting; should not be dismissed. If a 
personal matter is being discussed, interruptions and noise may have a disruptive effect, or 
cause the counselee real embarrassment. It should be up to you to choose a private setting 
and ensure confidentiality, letting the employee know from the outset you have taken care 
of this. It is also critical that you convey a positive attitude to the process, so that the 
emphasis is on overcoming the problem rather than accusation. 

Once the climate has been prepared, the next step is to agree on the problem. To do 
this you need to encourage two-way conversation, practicing your active listening 
techniques— "so what you see happening is . . ."—so the counselee knows you are "with" him 
or her and there is no misunderstanding. 

Your immediate objective should be to gather enough information to decide your role 
before you are "over your head." If a discussion of an employee's unsatisfactory work 
behavior turns up the fact that drug or alcohol addiction is involved, you are probably in a 
referral situation in which your role will be very different from one involving hassling by 
other workers, or poor training preparation for an assignment. While you may have a role 
in remedying the cause of the poor behavior in the latter cases, in the former ones you will 
be recommending (or requiring) that the employee get help in this area from a different 
source. Knowing too many details of a subordinates personal life may cause discomfort 
for both of you; if special help is required, your best role is to reinforce the employee's 
search for professional assistance in facilitating the change you both want. 



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SECTION II. EFFECTIVE COUNSELING TECHNIQUES 
A. Four Approaches to Counseling 



The intent of counseling is to achieve a change in behavior. The behavioral approach 
deals only in the symptoms and not in the underlying causes of poor behavior. The 
technique is basically to reward proper behavior and punish (or not reward) poor behavior. 
The theoretical basis is derived from experiments with pigeons pecking at the keys. When 
the proper key was pressed, the pigeon was rewarded with corn. Pecking at the wrong key 
provided no corn. Therefore, proper behavior was reinforced, and the pigeon didn't bother 
with the wrong key. 

People are more complex than pigeons. The behavioral approach may be appropriate 
for reinforcing behavior in simple problems such as tardiness or sloppy work habits. 
However, suppose that the symptoms that are causing a problem for the department are 
the result of serious personal problems of the counselee. What if the tardiness is a result 
of a serious illness of a family member? What if the sloppiness is the result of drug abuse 
or alcoholism? Then, treatment of symptoms will be ineffective, and "hounding" the 
offender will only add to his/her burden. 

The approach will work well, however, when the problem is strictly a behavior 
pattern without an apparent underlying problem. Carelessness in meeting deadlines, 
sloppiness in firehouse chores, or tardiness might all fall in this category; however, since 
they can be symptomatic of deeper problems, be prepared to use a different approach if 
the behavior change is sudden, if several aspects of the behavior change at once, or if 
there is no change using the behavioral method. 

The following two approaches seek to deal with the underlying reasons for the 
improper behavior, rather than the symptoms. 

A nondirective approach involves allowing the counselee a rather unrestricted path 
in order for him/her to be able to feel that they can explain bothersome problems and 
express feelings without interference. The counselor must be able to listen effectively, to 
encourage discussion, and to impart an understanding and helpful attitude. By doing so, 
the counselor hopefully will be able to obtain the help of the subordinate in determining 
appropriate solutions to the difficulties. If the counselor is able to ask "open-ended" 
questions which give the employee "room" to explain his/her feelings and behavior, the 
employee will probably experience more of a feeling of independence in the session. A 
type of emotional release can occur, and both the supervisor and the supervisee "discover" 
the roots of the problem. 

This approach is properly used when you suspect an underlying problem, when an 
issue appears complex, or when the employee indicates willingness to explore a problem 
with you. Be prepared to refer problems beyond your professional expertise, such as 
marital and drug abuse problems, to trained professionals. 

Listening to feelings, attitudes, and problems is a vital ingredient in the directive 
approach as well; however, there is more direction and control by the counselor. The 
employee can certainly contribute to the decisionmaking as far as appropriate solutions to 
the problem are concerned, but the counselor provides very specific advice on desired 
actions and directions. 

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This approach is probably more suitable for situations in which an employee needs to 
ask for specific information or advice. It is also a more appropriate approach when a 
supervisor needs to hold a discussion about particular rules and procedures or when the 
necessity for discussion includes the violation of regulations. When solutions to 
difficulties have been decided using the "controlling" approach, the employee is more or 
less directed to follow through in specific ways. This is done with positive direction using 
tact, understanding, and motivation. This approach can help to reduce tensions and 
frustrations but may not be as effective as the nondirective approach. This approach may 
be used when the need is primarily informational, in critical or emergency situations (or 
others where time for nondirective exploration is impossible), or when it is impossible for 
the employee to talk about the problem. 

In either case, it is useful to be aware of the needs of the counselee. Review the 
material in the unit on Motivation with this in mind. 

An eclectic approach to counseling has come into greater favor in the profession in 
recent years. "Eclectic" means "drawing from many sources." Individuals who subscribe 
to this approach basically do not use any particular style all the time, but rather choose 
the style with which they feel most comfortable in a given situation. For example, some 
employees might respond best to a directive approach; still others might respond best to a 
combination depending on the particular circumstances. In some cases, a combination of 
approaches might be evident in a single counseling session. In selecting a style, you need 
to consider the following variables: the employee, the situation, your suspicions and/or 
knowledge of the problem, your skills, and finally, your comfort with the style. 

The danger in adopting an eclectic approach is that you may find yourself using 
styles with which you are not comfortable. Your feeling of discomfort will be transmitted 
to the employee and will endanger the counseling process. Therefore, it is important to 
choose not only a style that is appropriate for a given situation, but also a style with which 
you personally are comfortable. If you think the situation calls for a nondirective 
approach, you may find yourself switching gears halfway through and confusing the 
employee, and thereby thwarting the process. Consequently, you must be aware of your 
strengths and limitations before starting any counseling process and choosing any 
counseling style. 

B. Tips on Effective Counseling 

Basically, counseling involves giving and getting information, and motivating a 
person out of a problem. Astute listening is required (including listening with the "third 
ear," or "reading between the lines"}! 

The counselor should project an image with voice and body language: 

In control, unafraid 
Confident, optimistic 
Relaxed, unrushed 
Sincere, serious 
Attentive, focused 
Empathetic, understanding 



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That's an awful lot of self-control to expect in a stressful situation, but when you 
think about it, it's pretty much leadership and what you would expect from a fireground 
commander. 

Practice or role play counseling so that you can more or less automatically assume 
the "leadership" attitude. It would be unproductive to attempt counseling while 
stammering, avoiding eye contact, acting nervous or rushed, straying off the issue, or 
being argumentative ! 

If you ask questions that can be answered simply "yes" or "no," you will get "yes" or 
"no" answers. Usually the purpose of questions in counseling is to draw a person out, to 
make them think about implications, and to "discover" for themselves the answers to your 
questions. 

A question may be phrased to allow wide latitude in a response: 

• "Why is it that you are so often ten minutes late for work?" 

• "Do you have any ideas why station maintenance is so poor?" 

This is called a discovery question. 

Or, a question may be phrased in such a way that it controls or limits the possible 
responses: 

• "Is there some reason why you cannot leave for work ten minutes earlier?" 

• "Is your shift doing its fair share of station maintenance?" 

This is called a controlling question. 

So that the counselee won't feel like he or she is playing "Twenty Questions," the 
counselor can intersperse questions with statements that are designed to elicit a response: 

• "Many people see lateness as an expression of hostility." 

• "It appears that your shift is lax on station maintenance." (Response is limited 
or controlled.) 

These are called "controlling statements." There are also "discovery statements," such as 
the following: 

• "Tell me about this morning, and how it came about that you were late to work." 

• "I've heard some complaints about your shift and station maintenance— I'd like to 
hear your opinions." (Unlimited response.) 

It is important to recognize, however, that all questions are not pure types and 
therefore will not always fall neatly into one category or the other. Also, bear in mind 
that different types of questions have different effects on the persons being interviewed. 
The interviewer should consider these effects in terms of his/her purposes and the 



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information wanted. For example, when an interviewer asks too many controlling 
questions, the interviewee typically feels that he/she is on the spot and reacts 
defensively. Discovering questions are less threatening and tend to set the interviewee at 
ease. On the other hand, a counselee who is rambling on and avoiding the real issues may 
need to be directed by more controlling questions or statements. 

Questions, whether discovering or controlling, require the interviewee to produce 
information. As questions move toward inquiry statements, there is more opportunity for 
the interviewee to relate and reveal more of him/herself to the interviewer. 

To summarize, it should be clear that one type of questioning is no better than 
another type. Once the interviewer learns to use questions effectively, he or she can 
choose the type of question that is appropriate for a specific purpose. Each type is of 
value to the interviewer and the interviewee. Hopefully, the interviewer will be able to 
choose questions to suit the purposes of the interview and be aware of the effect of his 
questions on the interviewee. 

But how do you use all these types of queries? What is it you are really trying to 
find out? 

A helpful way to think of your aim uses the analogy of a "force field analysis." You 
assume there is a barrier to achievement, or the employee would be achieving what you 
want already. You may also assume that a force field exists in relation to the subject at 
hand: there are some positively charged elements that will assist in making the change, 
and there are some negatively charged elements that will work against the change. What 
you are trying to do is identify these elements so you can counter or use them. 

In other words, once you have agreed on the desired change, you need to notice what 
is already available to help the change (both in terms of internal and external resources) 
and what barriers are working against the change (again, both internally and externally). 
The counselee's will to change may be an internal resource, but lack of self-confidence an 
internal barrier; their access to relevant training may be an external resource, but their 
inability to afford it an external barrier. 

Once you have identified these "pushing" and "restraining" forces, you can examine 
what you can do to increase or bolster available resources and remove or reduce barriers. 
In the brief example sketched above, you may be dealing with a situation in which an 
employee's confidence and ability to perform may be enhanced by training, and the use of 
an internal scholarship fund may be warranted. 

When the session ends, your next move should be authoring a brief record of the 
meeting and the solutions discussed. Such records must be confidential; however, without 
them, you may lose track of what problems were identified and what remedies were 
agreed on, losing your ability to conduct effective followups. 

By accepting counseling as part of your job, you can enhance your ability as 
supervisor and increase the efficiency of your entire team. 



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C. Ethical and Legal Aspects of the Counseling Relationship 

Counseling by definition is a helping relationship— and a relationship of trust and 
confidence requiring ethical conduct on the part of the supervisor. Three issues are of 
primary importance: competence, confidentiality, and written records. 

Competence : As a supervisor, you must always be aware of your limitations in 
counseling situations. You must not claim nor imply by words or actions professional 
qualifications not possessed. The supervisor must handle personally only those personnel 
matters he or she is professionally qualified to deal with. You have an ethical and legal 
responsibility to refer subordinates with problems outside the scope of your training, skills, 
and abilities to qualified professionals. Most fire service supervisors are not equipped to 
deal with others' problems of alcoholism, drug abuse, marital or divorce adjustment, 
parent-child conflict, and the array of other personal/family problems. Nor should they 
be. The supervisory role in these instances becomes that of helping the counselee to see 
the need for outside intervention, encouraging the person to seek this help, and helping 
them, if requested, to make this contact. 

Confidentiality . The supervisor's primary obligations are to respect the integrity of 
the employee and safeguard his or her rights of privacy and dignity. To these ends, the 
counseling relationship, and the information and records resulting therefrom, must be held 
in the strictest of confidence. 

There are three exceptions to confidentiality. Performance appraisal or evaluation 
documents and records of supervisor-subordinate conferences concerning the worker's 
performance will be entered into the subordinate's cumulative personnel record, as will 
records of conferences with subordinates when the problem may become or has become 
the subject of formal departmental disciplinary procedures. The third exception involves 
both an ethical and legal responsibility of the supervisor: when the counselee's condition 
suggests a clear and imminent danger to self, to others, and/or to organizational interests 
the supervisor must take reasonable action to prevent the possible consequences. He or 
she is obligated to actively intervene personally and/or to inform the officer's superior 
and/or other responsible authorities. An example of a situation that would require an 
immediate "breach" of confidentiality would be the potentially suicidal subordinate who, in 
the course of the relationship appears depressed, threatens to take his own life, cites the 
reasons for this action, and describes the method to be used. This is not only an example 
of a problem requiring referral, but also, action, now on the supervisor's part. Contrast 
that for a moment, to the revelation of a problem with an adolescent family member for 
which the counselee decides, with supervisory encouragement, to seek out a family 
therapist. The difference with reference to danger and consequence is rather apparent. 

Written Records . Akin to the issue of confidentiality is that of the maintenance and 
use of written records. As alluded to previously, any performance appraisals or 
evaluations and interviews or conferences concerning the same must be thoroughly and 
objectively documented. Similarly, any discussions of problem behavior that may result or 
have resulted in formal disciplinary measures must be judiciously documented. Both types 
of records may well become part of the cumulative personnel file— and the subject of 
internal appeals and/or legal action. Hence, the importance of accurate, complete, and 
objective records. The question arises as to the inclusion of "personal problems" (as 
admitted alcohol abuse, marital discord) in formal records. The supervisor must use his 
judgment. If the problem apparently is not interfering or has not interfered with the 

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worker's performance of his job, probably not. Once it affects, in any way, the employer- 
employee relationship and may become relevant to formal disciplinary action or reprimand 
in the present or future, the supervisor would be well-advised to maintain formal records 
of such problems. The supervisor must choose words carefully, avoiding any diagnostic, 
evaluative, and stereotypic labels. Rather describe, in value-free words, the actions, 
misdeeds, and/or statements of the subject. 

So far, the discussion has centered upon "formal records." What about the 
supervisor's personal notes, if any? The supervisor may well choose to keep personal notes 
of counseling interactions. If so, they must be kept strictly personal , not a matter of 
record, not public knowledge. Sharing such notes with even one superior may jeopardize 
their personal status legally. Although personal notes are "personal," and as such are 
probably not subject to revelation, the supervisor would be well advised to keep them 
objective, avoiding evaluative observations (ex.: He is sick !), negative stereotyping 
labeling (ex. He's plain lazy), and clinical or popular diagnostic labels (ex.: The man is 
insane, a raving maniac !). Instead, keep these notes descriptive by documenting specific 
actions and words. 

Although these guidelines represent common practice in matters of confidentiality 
and record-keeping, the supervisor would be well-advised to consult with superiors and/or 
the departmental or city attorney as to practices of the department and the state with 
reference to the counseling relationship. 

A final note with reference to confidentiality and record keeping. The counseling 
relationship is one of trust. The supervisor, as a professional, must clarify with the 
subordinate, if records of the sesion are to be kept and if so, with whom they will be 
shared or not shared, and how they may be used (personal vs. departmental records). 

In this discussion, several references to cumulative personnel records or files have 
been made. These files belong to the organization. Employees have no inherent right to 
determine what is entered into them. On the other hand, they are entitled to see their 
files on request. Remember also that these files are subject to legal inspection. 



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SUPPLEMENTARY READING 
FIRE SERVICE SUPERVISION: INCREASING TEAM EFFECTIVENESS 

UNIT FIVE: CONFLICT RESOLUTION 



SECTION I. UNDERSTANDING CONFLICT 



A. Introduction to Conflict 

According to a survey conducted by Schmidt and Thomas* for the American 
Management Association, managers spend approximately 20% of their time dealing with 
some form of organizational conflict. Traditionally, conflict has been viewed as a 
negative force within organizations, and accordingly, managers have taken steps to 
discourage or suppress conflict within their scope of control. Recently, however, there 
has been a growing recognition that conflict is an integral component of almost every 
dynamic, changing organization. The challenge to fire service managers thus becomes not 
how to suppress conflict, but rather how to deal with conflict in a manner that increases 
rather than diminishes agency vitality. 

Approached openly, candidly, and confidently, conflict may be productive. The 
presence of conflict suggests a need for change or adjustment, and resolution may lead to 
a valuable improvement. Too often we go into conflict with an attitude that works against 
this goal— one that is strictly focused on how to meet the needs of our side any way we 
can. But if we sacrifice a necessary working relationship to meet one need, what have we 
gained? What will we do when we need that party's cooperation? 

Actually, two things matter in a conflict. One is representing your own interests, 
and the second is improving— or at least not damaging— your relationship with the other 
party. If you demonstrate concern for their interests and attempt to find ways of meeting 
both sides needs, you may head off future conflicts, and avoid the possibility that your 
solution will be "sabotaged" by an unhappy loser. 

B. Diagnosing Conflict 

Potential sources of conflict can be identified in any fire service agency. A 
description of some of the major types of conflict that develop in organizational life are 
as follows: 

1. Role conflict . Differences of opinion sometimes develop between superiors and 
subordinates about priorities, job behavior, how to respond to demands, etc. 



♦Schmidt, W. H., "Conflict: A Powerful Process for Change," Management Review , 1974. 

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2. Interpersonal conflict . This type is usually referred to as personality conflict. 
Such conflicts generally occur when individuals have different motives or are 
struggling for increased power. 

3. Intragroup conflict . Within a large, functioning work group, subgroups will 
sometimes come into conflict with one another concerning operational issues or 
issues relating to which subgroup will wield greater organizational influence. 

4. Inter-group conflict . Several forms of inter-group conflict are possible in fire 
service agencies: 

Central Office vs. the Field— Conflicts often erupt between staff personnel in 
the central office and field line managers concerning which group is going to 
actually control field operations. A variation of this type of conflict is the staff 
vs. line conflict, which usually occurs when staff personnel attempt to 
implement new methods or evaluative procedures that are not supported by the 
field office line managers with whom the implementation is supposed to occur. 

Old Guard vs. Young Turks— The classic confrontation between those who 
protect the "status quo" and those who attack it can be found from time to time 
in almost every fire service agency. 

Union vs. Management— Regrettably, the goals and objectives of these two 
groups are sometimes incompatible. This divergence can result in conflicts in 
which employees get caught in the middle. 

Given the range of potential conflicts possible in most fire service agencies, it is 
important for the fire service manager to be adept at understanding the dynamics of a 
particular conflict situation and what he or she can then do to minimize the negative 
impact the conflict might have on the agency and the personnel involved. 

In order to deal successfully with a conflict, you must accurately "diagnose" the 
conflict in question. This involves three major steps: 

1. Determining the current stage of the conflict(s). 

2. Discerning the nature of the conflict(s). 

3. Identifying the factor(s) that underlie the conflict(s). 

Most conflicts go through four clearly identifiable stages from inception to resolution. 
These stages are as follows: 

Frustration— Frustration occurs when someone or something is blocking an individual 
or group from obtaining a desired goal or objective. The source and/or reason for the 
frustration may be well- or ill-defined at this stage. Nevertheless, an individual or group 
is feeling thwarted about not getting the result(s) that are desired. A fire service manager 
may be attempting to implement a change in agency policies and procedures that requires 
the support of subordinates. After a period of time elapses, the fire service manager 
might begin to feel frustrated if he or she feels that satisfactory progress is not being 



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made in adopting the new policies and procedures. This frustration may be compounded if 
that manager can't really pinpoint why the changes aren't being made. 

Conceptualization— At this stage in the conflict, the fire service manager is able to 
answer the question, "What's the real problem?" He or she can clarify the nature and 
scope of the problem that was causing the earlier frustration. Perhaps the new policies 
and procedures are being resisted because several key subordinates are miffed because 
they believe their input was not solicited before the changes were made. 

Behavior— This is the stage at which the fire service manager takes some action to 
deal with the conceptualized conflict. Several options for approaching the resolution to a 
conflict are generally available to a fire service manager. (These approaches will be 
discussed in detail later.) 

Outcome — Ultimately, most conflicts are resolved. The outcome occurs after the 
dust has settled. At this point in the conflict cycle, the fire service manager can assess 
the quality of the conflict resolution approach that has been tried. (Criteria for such an 
assessment will be examined following the discussion of approaches to conflicts.) 

Understanding the typical evolution of a conflict can enable the fire service manager 
to rationally approach such a situation. Realizing the need to cleraly conceptualize the 
nature and scope of the issue(s) involved in the conflict can help the manager avoid the 
greater conflicts that can arise if action is taken at the frustration stage before the 
problem is often clearly defined. 

The second step in your "diagnosis" is to determine the nature of the conflict. 
Usually, conflicts fall into one of four major categories. These are: 

Conflicts over FACTS— Individuals may disagree because they have different 
definitions of a problem, are cognizant of varying pieces of information concerning the 
problem, etc. 

Conflicts over METHODS— Disagreements can arise over which strategies or 
procedures are best for achieving a given goal or objective. 

Conflicts over GOALS— Disagreements can arise over what long-range results should 
be pursued by the agency or agency subdivision. 

Conflicts over VALUES— Finally, disagreements can arise over ethics, moral 
considerations, whether the end justifies the means, etc. 

Understanding the nature of a particular conflict is of vital importance to the fire 
service manager. Obviously, resolving a conflict over facts or methods is usually going to 
be considerably easier than resolving a conflict over goals or values. Therefore, this step 
prepares the fire service manager in an important way: he or she can approach potential 
resolution of the conflict in question with a clearer perspective of how rational or 
irrational that process is likely to be. 

The final stage in conflict diagnosis is isolating and identifying the underlying 
factors of the conflict. Generally, underlying factors come from one of three groups: 



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Informational . Do the actors in the conflict have access to the same information, or 
have they drawn different conclusions based on varying information? The ancient fable of 
the six blind men feeling different parts of an elephant and each concluding that he was 
experiencing some object other than an elephant is reflective of this type of underlying 
factor. 

Perceptual . Do the actors in the conflict perceive the common information 
differently? Each person brings to any situation a unique set of past experiences that 
serve as "filters" through which new information must pass. These "filters" naturally 
affect and, at times, alter the way different people interpret the same pieces of 
information. 

Role . The influence of an actor's particular role in the organization on that actor's 
feelings regarding a conflict is often apparent. The old adage, "Where you stand depends 
on where you sit," reflects this type of role orientation. As fire service employees 
advance into management positions, their positions in conflicts may also change with their 
role change. 

Understanding probable underlying factors in a conflict can greatly improve the 
chances of the fire service manager selecting a workable resolution strategy. But it is 
also important to recognize that conflicts are not strictly logical— in fact, they almost 
invariably have two aspects: one related to substance or issues, and a second, equally 
important aspect related to feelings. The successful negotiator pays attention to both . 

Often, the first task in resolving a conflict is "defusing" the situation. Defusion 
refers to the reduction of the emotional tension and explosiveness potentially surrounding 
a conflict situation. Among commonly cited defusion techniques are the following: 

1. Introduce oneself, if appropriate and/or offer to shake hands. It is difficult for 
anyone not to respond to this type of greeting. 

2. Allow the venting of strong vocal emotion, if present, to continue a few 
moments. 

This often takes the edge off emotions and helps the intervenor to further 
dissipate the emotion more readily. 

Another purpose of allowing ventilation is to learn. By listening a few moments 
one can often detect not only the surface issues but underlying themes as well. 
It helps to determine if one's initial diagnosis (if made) is reasonably accurate. 

3. Move disagreeing parties out of eye shot, and earshot, if feasible. 

High emotion builds tension and breeds upon itself. In breaking eye contact, if 
only momentarily, one is reducing the effectiveness of communication, and 
hence, the emotional turmoil. Out of earshot is even more effective. 

When emotions have been somewhat subdued, bring the parties back together for 
actual discussion and resolution of the problem. 



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4. Undercutting— By lowering one's voice, instead of trying to match their vocal 
intensity (which can escalate the voices and emotion even more), they are likely 
to quiet down in order to hear what is being said. 

5. Positioning for de-escalation— Get the disputing or hostile party or parties to sit 
down. Their vocal volume and emotional intensity will most often follow their 
bodies— downward. It is difficult to become or remain highly volatile in a seated 
position. 

How can this be accomplished? Ask them to be seated. If they choose not to, 
ask if they object to your sitting down. Then sit down. It will distract them, 
and begin the defusion process even if they refuse to sit down initally. They will 
find it difficult to continue the disagreement and to do so standing up— if the 
intervenor is seated and observing them. They will probably join you. If they sit 
down, emotional intensity will wane. 

6. Take out a notebook or a pad as if notes are to be made. 

This normally arouses curiosity, as arguers will wonder what is to be written 
about them. The attention is now focused on the supervisor-intervenor, not on 
one another. If this does not work, ask one of them for a pen or pencil. This 
definitely will call attention to yourself and the notebook. 

7. Ask simplistic questions and belabor them. 

An example: "You said her name is McLaughlin? (Yes !) How do you spell that? 
The purpose: It distracts the highly emotional person from the focus of his 
feelings. 

8. Make a distracting observation or ask a distracting question. An example: "Did 
I hear the phone?" The results: they'll have to listen (quiet down) and are 
momentarily forgetting the issue. 

9. Give a distracting compliment, but make certain it is a sincere and legitimate 
one. 

10. Offer a sign of hospitality. 

Examples: Offer a cigarette, a cup of coffee, a glass of water. It is not unusual 
for people in highly stressful situations to accept coffee or cigarettes if they do 
not routinely use or want them. That is how distraught they are. 

Results: Once again, such a gesture diverts their attention from one another 
and/or from the issue. A second positive result is that it helps to establish 
rapport— essential in the resolution process. 

11. Use active (reflective) listening, perhaps with a "door opener." An example of 
reflective listening used with a "door opener" would be the following: 

"John, I can tell that you are feeling very angry about the shift change, and that 
you feel it was done arbitrarily. Why don't we sit down and discuss how and why 
the decision was made?" 

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It is important that their feelings be acknowledged. Let the person know it is 
acceptable to have these feelings and that they are understood. 

12. Use an "effective I statement" or a series of progressively stronger "I" 
statements. "I" statements are effective because the speaker shares in the 
responsibility for the situation. 

Adapted from T. Gordon, the "effective I statement" can readily be constructed 
in five steps: 

1) Address the person—by first name or title—as appropriate. 

2) Begin the body of the statement with the phrase, "When you." 

3) Describe specifically the unacceptable behavior. 

4) Describe specifically how that makes one (as the speaker) feel. 

5) Identify the concrete , specific effect or consequence it has on one. 

An example of a basic "effective I statement" in which the components (as cited 
above) are noted would be: 

"(1) John, (2) when you (3) shout at me, (4) I get very upset (5) because I can't 
understand what you are saying or what point you are trying to make." 

The above techniques have been demonstrated to be effective in de-escalating 
intense emotion. They represent only a dozen of many. Keep in mind that each individual 
is unique and each situation is unique. Note, however, that not every one of these is 
appropriate to every situation. Neither will any one necessarily work in a given 
situation. Therefore, one must use an appropriate combination or series of such 
techniques, and if one fails, try another. 

Above all, in the defusion process, and throughout the resolution, the manager/super- 
visor must remain calm, confident, and patient. 

If you think back to conflicts in which you were involved, you will immediately recall 
a number of these "feeling" aspects, such as need for power or control, threatened self- 
esteem, defensiveness, and anger. By honestly recognizing and addressing these feeling 
issues, and often by bringing them into the open before they blow up, it is sometimes 
possible to defuse an otherwise damaging conflict. 



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SECTION II. MANAGING CONFLICT 
A. Five Styles of Conflict Resolution 



Conflict resolution styles fall into five basic categories. Generally speaking, we 
tend to have a decided preference as individuals for one or two styles. In selecting a way 
to approach a given conflict and achieve maximum effectiveness, however, it is necessary 
to examine one's choice of style very closely and see if it is in fact appropriate. This 
means consciously knowing what style you are using at a given moment, and what the 
advantages and disadvantages of that would be. 

Avoiding is a style in which one simply refuses to address an issue, whether by 
sidesteeping, postponing, or withdrawing. It may appropriately be used when an issue is 
trivial, when you are without power, when the potential damage from confrontation may 
be greater than the benefits of resolving it, to back off and let parties cool off, to gather 
more information, when the issue is a symptom of other problems, or when others can 
resolve the conflict more effectively. Its drawbacks, however, are that it prevents 
creative problem solving, denies others your input, and may let important decisions be 
made by default. Often, people put energy into avoiding conflicts that could have gone far 
to lead to a permanent resolution. 

An accommodating approach is one in which your interests are sacrificed to meet 
someone else's. It may be the right approach when you're wrong, the issue matters more 
to the other party, to give subordinates a chance to learn from mistakes, when you are 
outmatched, or to build "credit" for more important issues later. But the obvious 
drawback is that your needs or opinions are not represented in the solution, and the result 
may be a foolish or ineffective course of action you could have prevented. 

A compromising approach involves a search for some middle ground that partially 
satisfies the needs of both parties. It may be used when opponents with equal power are 
immovably attached to mutually exclusive goals, or to gain a temporary settlement— 
especially under time pressure. However, it means that neither side has its need fully 
met . Too often we assume that such a solution is our only cooperative option, and forget 
to really apply our intelligence and creativity to find an option that works for both sides. 

A competing approach— too common— means pursuing your own interests at the 
expense of the other side. It is sometimes the only practical approach; for example, in 
emergencies, on issues where unpopular decisions must be enforced and there is no 
alternative (such as cost-cutting), to protect yourself against people who will take 
advantage of any other behavior, or, sometimes, on vital issues where you are sure you are 
right. The technique is generally overused and often self-destructive, for it leaves a 
legacy of bitterness, and may lead to a solution that will backfire because it omits key 
needs. 

Collaborating means attempting to devise a solution that fully addresses the primary 
needs of each side. It requires skill and practice, but the rewards may be great. It may be 
used to find a solution when concerns of each side are too important to compromise, to 
merge insights from people with different perspectives, and to increase the commitment 
of each side to the solution. The primary drawback is that it requires time and effort. 
You may risk being taken advantage of if your opponents misread your willingness to 
address their needs as an accommodating approach, but your steadfast insistence that they 
address your needs will usually set them straight. 

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B. Four Principles of Conflict Resolution 

In the book Getting to Yes , Fisher and Ury outline four key principles of conflict 
resolution based on years of successful experience as negotiators. 

First, separate the people from the problem. If you can treat the problem as a 
shared concern and the other individuals as allies in addressing it, you are well on the way 
to a workable solution. 

Second, focus on interests, not positions. A position is a specific solution to a 
problem, while an interest is a general concern for which a number of positions might be 
appropriate answers. Lack of representation for your subgroup in department affairs is an 
interest; a demand that your subgroup be represented on one particular committee is a 
position. If your position is rejected, your need is not addressed. If you present your 
interest, however, a solution appropriate to both sides may be found — perhaps one better 
than the particular position you might have become locked into. 

Third, generate a variety of options before deciding. Muzzle your critical instincts 
and brainstorm— maybe an otherwise crazy idea has a really valuable aspect to it, if you 
open your mind and listen. Ask yourself whether you're acting as a roadblock or gate. 
Sometimes, quantity breeds quality. 

Fourth, seek objective standards. Many differences of opinion may be referred to 
another standard that does not represent the interests of one side or the other. The use of 
a national code as a standard to resolve a local code issue would be an example. 

C. Steps in Conflict Resolution 

A number of steps may be identified in the process of conflict resolution: 

1. Assert common interests. 

If you begin by stressing what both sides have to gain from the discussion at 
hand, motivation and cooperation may be increased. 

2. Express each side's concerns and interests. 

Without blame or defensiveness, or locking into a position, explain your primary 
concern. Try to gain the empathy of the other side, and give them yours. 

3. Develop criteria for a good solution. 

Express what you are trying to achieve, including both side's interests. (If this 
looks impossible, consider whether a position has been introduced as an 
interest.) 

4. Generate action ideas. 

This involves defining the problem more closely: what is wrong? what are the 
facts and symptoms? Then you can analyze the problem, generate some broad 



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approaches to it and finally, suggest some concrete ideas for actions that might 
be taken to resolve the issue. 

5. Develop action ideas. 

Now, you're ready to flesh out your ideas, delegate responsibility, and involve 
other concerned parties in approval and implementation. 

6. Implementation. 

During implementation, remember to keep communication lines open and make 
needed adjustments. 

Effectively diagnosing and dealing with conflicts is one of the most difficult 
challenges confronting any fire service manager. In closing, one additional points needs to 
be made: One of the greatest aids to preventing and solving organizational conflicts is a 
planning process that produces a viable organizational plan. Such a plan can provide a 
basis upon which to assess facts and methods relating to the achievement of already 
agreed upon goals (which, hopefully, reflect some mutually agreed upon values). This 
planning process therefore contributes significantly to enhancing the likelihood that 
conflict resolution can yield positive results for the organization. 



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SUPPLEMENTARY READING 
FIRE SERVICE SUPERVISION: INCREASING PERSONAL EFFECTIVENESS 

UNIT ONE: MANAGING EFFECTIVELY IN THE FIRE SERVICE 



SECTION I. MANAGEMENT CULTURE IN THE FIRE SERVICE 

A. What Is Management Culture? 

The word culture may be used to describe the unique characteristics of a regional 
or national community or ethnic group. For centuries, anthropologists and other social 
scientists have studied the beliefs, behavior patterns, traditions, economics, music, art, 
language, stories and tales, agriculture, and tools of groups. Cultural differences are 
obvious when comparing America and Japan, for instance, but the differences are just as 
real, if not as noticeable, between a large urban area and a farming village and even 
between neighborhoods in the same city. 

Organizations have cultures, just as communities do. The culture of any 
organization is the unique internal environment, which reflects such things as: internal 
self-image, goals/ mission, relationships, lifestyle, priorities, what it's really like to work 
there, beliefs, and assumptions. The culture, the sum of these factors, affects both how 
the fire department is managed and how the manager reacts. 

The organizational culture is revealed in the way employees act and dress, its 
policies and procedures, and organizational structure. It is seen even more tellingly, 
however, in its "unwritten rules," and in the value system reflected in rewards or "put- 
downs" for employee behavior. 

When you visit another fire department, you may come away with a feeling about 
what it would be like to work there, whether the people are happy, if there is a team 
spirit, the amount of respect for leaders, and other factors. You may think of your 
impressions as intuitive feeling, but what you have really done is looked at the 
management culture. Figuring out your own management culture will be more difficult 
because you are so closely involved every day. But take some time to think about these 
factors. Awareness of them will help you increase your personal effectiveness and 
enable you to manage more effectively. Such small signs as whether the bulletin board 
at your fire station contains only official memorandums or includes casual notices and 
cartoons can give you clues to your culture. 

Newcomers to an organization often absorb the culture before they learn the 
formal rules and structure or job requirements and skills. Some people are absorbed 
easily into the existing culture and are comfortably a part of the organization in a short 
time. Others are at odds with the internal culture from the time they enter until they 
leave the organization. 

There are many factors or characteristics that represent the internal culture of a 
fire department and that reveal the culture to a newcomer. If a person has both rational 
and intuitive skills, it makes the job of integrating into a new culture easier. For you as 
manager, it is productive to try to analyze your culture as objectively as possbile. This 

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will enable you to plan strategies for motivation and implementation that will have the 
best possible chance of acceptance in your particular context. 

B. Elements of Management Culture 

1. The overall management philosophy of the department is one of the key 
characteristics that a manager can use to identify the elements of management culture 
that most affect his or her ability to manage. 

Does the department use a Theory X approach? If so, leaders tend to be autocratic 
and authoritarian , allowing little or no participation in decisions by subordinates. The 
top leaders assume that people are lazy, dislike work, and prefer security to new 
opportunities. Theory X managers tend to be task- oriented, concerned primarily about 
getting the work done. 

Or does the department use a Theory Y approach? If so, there is a participatory 
style, and a belief that people can be self-directed , can handle increased responsibility 
and authority, get satisfaction from work, and have vital information to contribute to 
decisions. 

The last approach is Theory Z . The organization that uses this approach is highly 
participatory. The authority to decide and act is delegated out and down to the furthest 
and lowest level of people who have the skill, information, and experience to properly use 
the authority. 

2. All organizations have a formal and an informal structure. The formal 
structure is that indicated by the published organizational chart. The chart itself tells 
many things— the chain of command, who communicates with whom, how many functions 
and job titles there are, and who supervises whom. The informal structure is more 
private and reflects how people really relate to one another and how the work gets 
done. Even highly centralized structures like military or quasi-military fire departments 
have an alternate, informal structure that people use when they can. 

3. The mission of the fire department and how it is carried out is another element 
of the management culture. Some fire departments choose to emphasize suppression 
while others carry out a broad range of functions that include fire prevention, inspection 
and code enforcement, and public education. 

4. The composition of the fire department— whether the members are all paid, all 
volunteer, a combination of paid and volunteer, or private— is another management 
culture element. 

5. Managers in fire departments usually manage in at least three different 
settings. Emergency incident management , or management under stress, at risk to the 
team, and in the public eye would create a different management culture than managing 
at the station or managing primarily in the office . 

6. Policies for dealing with external influences and conditions constitute another 
element in the management culture. Some departments engage fully in external rela- 
tionships to influence others, while other departments tend to react to what happens and 
avoid contact with outside influences and influencers. 

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7. Communication patterns must be understood by the manager. Some fire 
departments' pattern of communication is stylized, formal, and stiff. Others are open 
and informal with information. Communication styles and patterns are currently being 
greatly affected by the introduction and use of computers in the fire service. 

8. There are many signals in an organization of the direction flow of 
communication . Do firefighters, EMTs, and engineers initiate communication upwards 
and laterally? Or does all communication tend to initiate at the top and flow down? Do 
mid-level managers initiate communication up and down? 

9. The fire department's culture is affected greatly by recent changes , such as 
change in leadership, goals, policies or by changes imposed from the outside, such as 
funding, community growth, or public opinion. The internal culture can also be affected 
by anticipated changes . Are there new requirements or pressures for accreditation? 
Does the community want the fire department to change so that their insurance rates go 
down? Does the next recruit group contain women or other minorities? Such changes 
will affect the fire service organization and its management. 

10. The culture of the department is highly influenced by the attitude and behavior 
about training . Some departments specialize highly; it is not unusual for a person to 
spend years carrying out one rather limited function in the department. Other 
departments attempt to make individuals and entire companies interchangeable, with 
everyone able to perform everyone else's tasks. Such differences in training lead to 
differences in perceptions by individuals of their personal relationship to the department, 
and can have considerable impact on the overall culture. 

11. Cultural diversity reflects the breadth of differences in age, gender, race, 
ethnicity, physique, religion, life experience, and education represented by the people in 
the department. Some departments try for uniformity of people and resist entry of those 
who are different. Some volunteer departments' by-laws state that new member fire- 
fighters must be related to or recommended by charter members. Some departments 
conscientiously try to attract and recruit one type of population. Other fire service 
organizations seek the asset of diversity and try to attract different types of people. 

12. How people manage time— their own and that of others— is another aspect of 
internal culture of interest to the manager. Is time respected? Do people try to be cost- 
effective with time or is time wasted, misused, abused? Do meetings start on time? Do 
people do their best work only in times of emergencies, or when doing routine work as 
well? 

13. Each fire service organization possesses its own unique system of what is 
valued and rewarded . Conversely, some actions, attitudes, and behavior, are not valued 
and may even be punished. These biases and mores are seldom written down. 
Newcomers, especially new managers, are expected to know what is acceptable and 
right. Some of the common value system components, in addition to what's valued or not 
valued, follow. 

• Attitude about politics (internal and external). 

• View of what constitutes "good public relations." 



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• Warmth/support/closeness. How "close" do people get to one another 
personally as well as professionally? 

• Self disclosure; related to closeness. Do people in the organization talk freely 
about their goals and needs, and share confidences? 

• The amount of specialization for individuals or throughout the department. Is 
a "Jack or Jill of all trades" admired, or is "do one job and do it well" the 
philosophy? 

• Fireground tactics. Is "drown and surround" the predominant firefighting 
style? Or is "interior attack— fight it back— stop it in its tracks" the 
approach? What happens when mutual aid takes place with a department using 
different tactics? Is there adaptation to others or do "we always use our 
approach?" 

• Status in the department— how is it achieved? Is tailboard experience more 
valued then formal fire service training courses or college courses? Do the 
"leather lungs" and "smoke-eaters" get the compliments, or the SCBA 
wearers? Do rank and seniority earn higher status than mastery of certain 
skills? 

• Medical tactics. Are victims stabilized and treated in the field? Transported 
by the department? Minimally treated until an ambulance arrives? Is EMS 
seen as the priority service of the department? 

C. Fire Department Management Cultures 

The 13 elements of management culture discussed above are only some of the many 
issues that a manager must deal with daily. Analyze the elements described above and 
see how they fit into your specific management environment. Recognizing the 
importance and impact of culture on your management style and process will enable you 
to look at the broad picture and maximize your personal effectiveness. 

In addition to knowing your own culture, you must also know how to work with and 
respond to the cultures of other organizations with which you interact. Understanding 
how to use and manipulate management cultures in a positive way will enable you to 
increase your effectiveness. 

D. Perspectives on Management Culture 

Depending on their position or level in an organization, the time they have spent 
there, and the amount of influence or authority they have, individuals may have widely 
differing perspectives on the "same" management culture. Because our perceptions of 
culture and adjustments to it are seldom conscious, it is often difficult to understand why 
people react to the "same" circumstances so differently. It is because it is not the same 
for them. Their position is different, what they see is different, and so for them what is 
real is different. 

What does this mean for the fire service manager or supervisor? It means that as 
you communicate up, down, or across your organizational structure, you need to think 

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about how others' perspectives may be different and anticipate these differences. Try to 
empathize with others' positions, and increase their ability to empathize with yours. 

SECTION II. ELEMENTS OF THE MANAGEMENT PROCESS 

A. Introduction to the Management Process 

Management may be defined as the art of accomplishing organizational objectives 
through and with people. The successful manager addresses objectives through an 
organized process, orchestrating and controlling the elements of his or her context. The 
less successful manager is like a juggler who reacts to new elements and conditions as if 
they were balls thrown from the blue to disrupt the barely under-control juggling act. 
One is proactive, anticipating change and responding intelligently to it; the other "shoots 
from the hip" under pressure and often misses the target. A skillful manager is keenly 
aware of external influences, the internal workings of the management culture, and the 
skills and limitations of people within the organization. A less skillful one has fixed ideas 
about what problems exist, what should be done about them, and what people should be 
able to do, responding automatically rather than sensitively and analytically to a specific 
situation. 

Management requires technical, human, and conceptual skills. Technical skills 
relate to what is done, and generally involve working with things . Stretching a hoseline 
or driving an apparatus, for example, requires primarily technical skills. Human skills 
have to do with how something gets done, and require knowledge of people . These skills 
include motivation, counseling, communication, leadership, and others involving human 
interaction. Finally, there are conceptual skills that reflect concern with why something 
is done and demand ability to work with ideas and abstract thought. Strategic planning 
and creative problem solving are examples of conceptual activities. Notice, however, 
that the strategic planner who lacks knowledge of the technical requirements of what 
should be done, or of the attitudes and abilities of people in the organization who must do 
those tasks, will go far astray. The successful manager knows when each skill is most 
relevant. 

As individuals are promoted, the emphasis on skills most needed shifts. 
Firefighters need mostly technical skills, mid-level managers need human skills, and 
upper level managers need more conceptual skills. Often, managers fail to adjust to a 
new level of responsibility and continue using the skills they mastered in their last jobs. 
Mid-level managers continue to be so task-oriented that they forget the art of 
motivation; chiefs and assistant chiefs may fail to stress long-range and short-term 
planning, preferring to become occupied with personalities. 

How these skills are called forth and exercised is determined both by external 
influences and the organizational culture. External influences include such things as: 

• Emergency incidents; 

• Needs and demands of area residents; 

• Changing conditions, such as aging, declining, or growing population; 



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• The culture of the community; 

• Policy or advisory group guidelines or requests; 

• Legal requirements or mandates; 

• Local political realities; 

• Funding sources; 

• Physical plant and equipment; and 

• Relationships with other agencies (police, sheriff, ambulance companies, 
hospitals, media/press). 

The manager must recognize the importance of external influences because they 
are a critical element in the management process. They dictate the conditions the 
manager must deal with, and the environment in which he or she will work. They also 
help identify what the fire department must do. For example, what conditions, such as 
an increasing number of fires and accidents, must it try to change? What problems must 
it solve— such as the number of fire deaths due to smoking, the need for more 
sophisticated equipment, or communication problems with other agencies? What needs 
must be met, such as the need to change hose lays, the need for training in new 
procedures, or the need to tie into a computerized information system? Finally, the fire 
department must consider what resources must be developed, such as revenue, political 
support, or land for a new station. 

In addressing these needs, the manager must not forget the external influences that 
operate in his or her own life. These include: 

• Personal needs, goals; 

• Personal relationships (family, friends, coworkers); 

• Stress from overcommitments; and 

• Opportunities for professional or personal growth. 

It is important to be realistic about how personal influences may be affecting 
management choices. Take the same direct, proactive stance toward personal issues that 
may affect your work as you would toward more clearly work-related ones. Your 
communication with others will be enhanced if you also remember what external 
influences may be operating in their lives. 

What problems or issues are addressed through the management process in any 
organization is largely determined by the way it sees its mission. A fire department that 
does not offer emergency medical services will be less concerned about an increasing 
elderly population that demands quick response to heart attacks and similar 
emergencies. A department that emphasizes suppression over prevention is less likely to 
devote time and energy to correcting ambiguity in local codes. 



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B. Overview of Elements 

Five "action" elements are critical ingredients in the management process: 

• Define, 

• Analyze, 

• Plan for action, 

• Implement, and 

• Evaluate. 

In addition, there are other key elements that must be dealt with on an ongoing 
basis: 

• External influences, 

• Organizational culture, and 

• Communication/coordination. 

By using these elements in a manner appropriate to the situation at hand, the manager 
can reduce the likelihood of failure, or of creating more problems through a given 
solution than it cures. Each major element has substeps that are necessary for success. 

1. Define. 

The first part of defining a problem is seeing it— an obvious statement, but one that 
tells us an important fact about the manager's role. Effectiveness requires willingness to 
perceive a need and begin to think about it constructively. The manager must be enough 
"in touch" with the community and the organization that needs and problems can be 
perceived— preferably at an early stage, before major problems have developed. 

But action elements of the management process are not solely concerned with 
problem solving. The proactive manager perceives ways to improve a system, to provide 
programs, to develop personnel, and to use a situation to advantage. For these and other 
situations where action is concerned, "definition" is the first step. Once an issue is 
clearly defined, you need to decide whether it should be addressed: does it fall within 
the mission of the fire department as the manager sees it, or is it an internal problem 
that could affect fulfillment of the mission? 

If the problem should be addressed, state a goal that will direct your next steps. 
What are the results you wish to achieve, stated in general terms? To reduce the 
conflict between certain department elements? To install more smoke detectors in 
residences? Or perhaps to increase the safety of multiple dwellings through required 
alarm systems? 

2. Analyze. 

Once you have defined a problem or issue, stating the results you need to achieve, 
you need to know as much as possible about the circumstances you wish to change. For a 
problem, you need to know why it exists, so you know what barriers must be overcome to 
change it. Only then can you select an approach appropriate to the situation. 



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Your analysis begins with identification of contributing elements for the issue or 
roblem you are focusing on. This is a stage at which mediocre managers are likely to go 
wrong, by quickly making assumptions about the situation based on prior experience or 
prejudice. Slow down and get the facts . The more you are able to clear your head of 
assumptions, the more on-target your response will be. 

Once you know the factors that have created the problem, develop short-term and 
long-term alternatives that will change conditions in your favor. If the reason so few of 
the residents in your jurisdiction use smoke detectors is that they believe they are 
unreliable, what kinds of publicity can you use to get out a different message? If it is 
because only one store carries them and they are not well displayed, how can you get 
stores to publicize the smoke detector availability? In developing alternatives, you need 
to consider both internal and external resources that can address the problem. Identify 
both tangible and intangible assets you need to plan a strategy: Tangible assets such as 
equipment, and intangible assets such as expertise or influence with key individuals. 

3. Plan for action. 

Now you are ready to complete a plan of action. Choose the alternative that best 
addresses the need using available resources. The alternative must then be executed in a 
way that makes appropriate use of the existing organizational structure . The structure 
may be visualized as the vehicle that carries people forward to do work, or as the 
framework or "skeleton" of the organization. The formal structure reveals the 
organization's assumptions about how people will relate to each other in teams or units, 
but is modified in reality by the informal structure. 

The formal structure reflects "public" organizational relationships. It is 
determined in part by the size and complexity of the department, and is revealed in 
formal communication patterns, ranks and titles, chain of command, supervision and 
delegation, how jobs and functions are distributed, and amount of centralization. 

The informal structure represents such "private" relationships as power and 
influence, status, group cultures, perceptions of roles, and informal lines of 
communication. How people feel about each other will inevitably modify the way things 
are "supposed" to happen— whether they like and respect or resent and distrust a team 
leader, it cannot be expected that feelings will be "put aside." A good manager will deal 
as effectively with feelings as with formal communications— listening to them carefully, 
modifying behavior to decrease frustration where appropriate, but never pretending a 
destructive attitude does not exist. 

The fire service manager must "be in tune" with both the formal and informal 
structures to manage effectively. 

With this framework in mind, you are ready to write specific objectives. 
Objectives differ from goals in their degree of specificity. Goals are general, and may 
be accomplished a number of different ways. Objectives spell out a particular means of 
reaching a goal. They specify the "ABCD's" of the path you select: the audience that 
will accomplish the task, the particular behavior expected, the conditions relevant to 
accomplishment (such as time) and degree, or means of measuring what is done (that is, 
what quality or quantity is expectedJT Good objectives are clear, observable, measurable, 



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and not open to interpretation. There should be no room for doubt as to whether an 
objective has or has not been achieved! 

Each objective may imply several tasks needed to achieve it. For example, if the 
objective requires the fire prevention division to prepare and broadcast at least ten 20- 
second public service announcements on smoke detectors, tasks will include writing a 
script and negotiating with radio stations for time, among others. Each task must be 
appropriately assigned if it is to be successfully accomplished. 

At the planning stage, you also need to make decisions about the evaluation 
procedures you intend to employ. 

Evaluation is the system used to judge progress toward goals by using pre- 
determined criteria or standards and deciding what adjustments are needed to stay on 
target. There are three basic levels of evaluation: 

• The simplest, done daily, weekly, or on each shift, is monitoring : Are the tasks 
getting done in the time frame, quantity, and quality expected? 

• The next most simple, done at least monthly, is assessment of objectives : Are 
the objectives being achieved in the time frame, quantity, and quality planned? 

• The most difficult, done at least quarterly, is impact : Are the goals being 
achieved? Have we changed the conditions? Solved the problems? Met the 
needs? Developed the resources? 

4. Implement plan. 

As you implement your plan, be sure all persons involved are clear on their 
responsibilities and motivated to perform them. Individuals are seldom motivated unless 
they see how their work fits into the "big picture" and know that it will be appreciated. 

Don't forget to use the evaluation plan you have set up to observe progress. Having 
a plan and doing tasks is not enough; the manager must also be constantly "in tune" with 
what is occurring, and even more important, what is not occurring that ought to be! The 
feedback system you have set up should provide information to the planners , so that they 
can replan if necessary, and to the doers , so they can change the way they are working 
and what they are doing in order to achieve the goals and objectives. 

Feedback can be as routine, informal, and simple as asking, "How are we doing on 
the plan for the community chimney sweep projects? Are we on schedule? Any 
problems?" It can also be as formal and technical as a computer program tracking the 
increase or decline in fire incidents, such as chimney fires, and a formal mechanism for 
reporting and using such data. Feedback communicated throughout the system allows 
replanning and other needed changes. 

5. Evaluate. 

Have you reached your goal? By using the criteria you set up in the planning stage, 
you should know whether the desired impact has been achieved. If you did not, try 
another alternative or start the process over again. Were you too hasty in deciding what 

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the contributing elements of the problem were? Or did you select an alternative for 
which your resources were inadequate? Careful analysis can be an invaluable learning 
process that can help you improve your system, as well as a means of correcting errors 
on a particular project. 

6. Communication and coordination. 

The element of communication and coordination is one of the most critical for a 
manager. All of the other elements depend on communication and coordination as the 
glue that maintains the interrelationships. 

Communication is defined as the process of transmitting or exchanging informa- 
tion, thoughts or feelings, and opinions between individuals or groups. It is accomplished 
through speech, writing, or the use of signs or symbols. Coordination is the combining of 
people for joint action to accomplish work for mutual benefit that is mutually inter- 
dependent. 

Communication and coordination are the most difficult to achieve in a management 
setting, because they also require the other "Big Cs": 

• Cooperation, 

• Collaboration, 

• Commitment, a sense of 

• Community, and 

• Commonality of goals. 

However, communication and coordination are weakened and even destroyed by: 

• Competition and 

• Conflict' 

Communication not only holds together the internal management elements, but it also 
allows the manager to communicate outside the fire department, and influence the 



7. Management by Objectives. 



Management by objectives (MBO) is a particular way of moving an organization as a 
whole toward the achievement of stated goals. The process involves stating specifically 
what results should be achieved in a given time period at every organizational level- 
department, company, even individual, MBO encourages the organization and individuals 
to be result-oriented, and to plan for the resources needed to achieve the results. 

MBO has as one of its basic concepts the participation of everyone in the 
organization in deciding: 

• The direction of the organization and each unit, 

• The best use of available resources, and 

• What progress is being made. 



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This concept translates into practice when, STARTING AT THE HIGHEST LEVELS 
OF THE ORGANIZATION, goals and objectives are established. Each manager and 
supervisor then develops goals and objectives for his or her unit that support the overall 
organization's goals and objectives. Finally, under the guidance of the supervisor, each 
individual develops goals and objectives. Progress toward goal and objective achieve- 
ment is then evaluated by the individual, the supervisor, the manager, and finally, top 
management. Individuals are given the opportunity to participate in the planning, and 
are also accountable for achieving their part of the plan. It becomes a function of the 
manager(s) to deliver the resources needed within the organization to perform, and to 
create the climate that supports the work being performed. 

The style of leadership used in an MBO approach is more participatory than in other 
management approaches. 

MBO has been applied for many years in business and industry, with excellent 
results. In the last five years, there has been a strong surge of MBO involvement in 
public service organizations. Fire departments that have initiated MBO process have 
found it to be very helpful in the following ways: 

It develops staff responsibility. 

It improves morale. 

It is future- and result-oriented (which is crucial when competing for resources 
for the department). 

It serves as a basis for calculating what resources are needed to achieve goals. 

It allows the department to negotiate for budgets very forthrightly: "These 
are the objectives we can meet with these resources— fewer resources, fewer 
results! " 

• It simplifies and objectifies individual performance evaluation as well as 
overall department achievement. 



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SUPPLEMENTARY READING 
FIRE SERVICE SUPERVISION: INCREASING PERSONAL EFFECTIVENESS 

UNIT TWO: LEADING EFFECTIVELY IN THE FIRE SERVICE 



SECTION I. KEY LEADERSHIP TRAITS IN THE FIRE SERVICE 

The fire officer faces a more complex leadership environment than any manager in 
either the public or private sectors. Few other managers lead emergency work groups 
who are at risk themselves. In addition, the fire officer must also exhibit leadership 
ability in directing nonemergency tasks such as prefire planning, inspection, public fire 
education, and maintenance of equipment. Finally, a fire officer must understand work 
groups as they exist in the organization's hierarchy. A competent fire officer has good 
cause to take pride in his or her leadership skills. 

A. What Is Leadership? 

Almost any writer who takes up the issue of leadership begins by making a 
distinction between leaders and leadership . Leadership is a set of behaviors that moves a 
group toward its goals. Thus, we may find (hopefully not very often) a fire officer who is 
the appointed leader of a fire team but exhibits no leadership. Conversely, a fire-fighter 
does not have to be "the leader" to move the group towards its goals. However, most 
people who have emerged as leaders have previously performed leadership functions that 
brought them to the attention of the fire group and maybe the whole fire officer core of 
the department. 

B. Research Findings on Positive and Negative Traits in a Leader 

When imagining what characteristics a good leader should have, most of us would 
probably describe him or her as physically fit and energetic. Personality and intellectual 
traits would probably include intelligence, knowledge about the fire service, sensitivity, 
self-control, responsibility, maturity, and courage. 

Over the last 50 years, hundreds of studies have been conducted to determine pre- 
cisely the physical, intellectual, and personality traits of the leader as contrasted with a 
follower. Contrary to expectations, there are only a few traits that leaders have that 
nonleaders do not have. This leads us to conclude that the traits needed to lead most 
groups effectively are widely distributed among people. Research findings indicate that 
leaders tend to be slightly taller, heavier, and physically more attractive than 
nonleaders. Leaders also seem to possess more stamina and active energy than non- 
leaders. Fluency of speech, confidence in tone, and more frequent communication are 
trademarks. Leaders also act differently, being more extroverted, dominant, assertive, 
persistent, and goal-oriented than nonleaders. In addition, leaders sometimes score 
higher on standard I.Q. tests and have greater mental agility in problem solving. 

It appears, on balance, that leaders are made, not born. However, in a given fire 
management culture and faced with certain recurring tasks, some leadership traits seem 
to stand out as required to get the job done. It is important to note that these traits are 
situationally determined, and that most of them are traits that a firefighter can develop 
in him or herself. 



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C. Leadership Traits Valued in Fire Departments 

The leadership traits that are valued, or exercise influence, in your fire department 
are determined by your department's management culture, the individuals in your work 
group, and specific work situations. 

For example, if your management culture works on Theory X, or is a highly central- 
ized organization where the main emphasis is on the task (as opposed to human relations) 
and all power rests at the top of the organization, a very authoritarian personality would 
be valued in the leader. A people-oriented, sensitive leader would be valued in a 
management culture that subscribed to Theory Z, which has a highly participatory 
atmosphere. 

The members of your work group have an effect on what leadership traits will be 
most valued. If the members are concerned with their own physical strength, for 
example, they may value a leader who has similar strengths. 

The constantly changing work situation in the fire department makes different 
leadership traits important at varying times. For example, an authoritarian personality 
may be needed in an emergency situation where decisions must be made quickly by one 
person to direct the group effort effectively. On the other hand, skills such as good 
listening and encouraging participation may be more useful in a nonemergency situation. 

Each fire department is different from the next and, as we have seen, situations 
frequently change within fire departments. It is important to study the aspects of 
leadership traits discussed above to see how they fit into your fire department. You can 
then better prepare yourself to lead. 

SECTION II. LEADERSHIP— FUNCTION AND POWER 

Studies over the last 30 years have shown that there are significant communication 
behaviors that move a group toward its goal. Sixteen specific leadership functions have 
been identified that advance a group's goals, while seven behaviors can obstruct positive 
movement. Understanding these functions, as well as the power that leaders must have 
to be effective, is an important step in learning how to exercise leadership. 

A. Sixteen Leadership Functions 

Research generally divides leadership functions into three categories: task— those 
functions that relate specifically to the jobs or duties at hand, procedural— functions 
involving the methods of accomplishing the group goal, and interpersonal— functions 
relating to encouraging group cohesiveness and a climate in which all workers feel a 
sense of commitment to the overall group goal. 

There are several leadership functions that fall under the task category. In mature 
fire service work groups, all members of the team freely contribute their ideas to help 
solve work problems. Idea contribution is a leadership function that is shared by all 
members since groups need original ideas to complete tasks creatively. A good leader 
must not only listen to ideas, he or she must actively seek ideas from other members of 
the group. Competent fire officers can ask important questions of firefighters without 
threatening or embarrassing them. You know a leader by the questions he or she asks. 



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Evaluating these ideas is one of the most difficult leadership functions because it is 
hard to critique and reject an idea without offending the member who contributed it. To 
be able to kill a bad idea but have the member appreciate the criticism is a sign of an 
experienced leader. Often, you can save the situation by noticing the concern or problem 
that motivated the suggestion, even though the solution may be unworkable, and looking 
at other ways to approach the concern. A good leader can often find some aspect of a 
suggestion that is worthy of praise and can be a valuable contribution. In addition, a fire 
officer has to have his or her own ideas evaluated. Drawing out firefighter criticism of 
your thinking is a delicate and important leadership function. Statements like "My way 
or the highway" do not encourage firefighters to challenge and improve upon your ideas. 

Visualizing abstract ideas and generalizing from specific ideas are two sides of the 
same coin. A situation in which abstract ideas must be visualized or made concrete 
would be in presenting a general company policy so that its exact import is clear. For 
example, when faced with a policy— "Minimum damage should be done to a home in the 
act of extinguishing a fire"— you might explain to a rookie that to ax the front door and 
rip a four-inch slit in the roof would probably be excessive for a kitchen stove grease 
fire. On the other hand, a group can stone an idea to death with little pebbles. A good 
leader can work through the trivia and make a general conclusion that hits home with all 
the members. The reverse is also true. Many times a group member will have a good 
specific suggestion that has larger implications. For example, "Charlie has suggested we 
mark those thin steel columns as hazards on the preplan. What about marking other 
hazards related to building construction as well?" 

The fire officer needs to actively exercise the five procedural leadership 
functions . Goal-setting and agenda-making are routine, yet vital, leader functions. 
These activities give the group a clear sense of direction that enhances cooperation and a 
sense of morale. As a fire group becomes more mature, the members will want to parti- 
cipate more in goal-setting and agenda-making. A good leader will know when to allow 
and even encourage group members to do so. However, if one firefighter is continuously 
challenging your statements on goals and your plan of attack, rest assured that your 
leadership of the group is being challenged. Handled properly, such a "devil's advocate" 
can improve group output; however, you need to see that the group's interests remain 
central, not intragroup competition. 

Clarifying and summarizing are important leadership functions because communi- 
cation within a group is frequently diffuse and disordered, with many dangling 
possibilities and false starts. Good leaders are recognized by their ability to repeat 
clearly and often what the group has said. This shows group members they are being 
heard and their suggestions are valued, gives the group a sense of accomplishment, and 
keeps the effort "on track." 

A much under-used leadership function is verbalizing consensus . Frequently, a fire 
officer thinks his or her group has agreed to a course of action only to find out later that 
several members were strongly opposed, even though they appeared to agree by their 
silence. Always seek group member verbalization that they do agree, avoiding a 
threatening tone. This will help prevent future resentment and complications later on. 

Of the five interpersonal functions , instigating conflict is the most difficult. 
Groups have a habit of reaching agreement too quickly at times. Members want to avoid 
potential damaging personality clashes among themselves so they have a tendency to 

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agree to the first reasonable idea. But it may not be the best idea. The good fire officer 
instigates ideational conflict even at the risk of personal clash, so that the best solution 
may be found. Thrashing ideas around among group members with the clear 
understanding that only ideas, and not personalities, are to be thrashed, can lead to more 
alternatives being considered, so that more creative solutions to group problems can be 
found. 

Resolving conflict is also vital for a fire group's survival. It is sometimes said that 
a good working fire is the great peacemaker of the fire service. But a fire officer cannot 
depend on a fire to resolve interpersonal conflict within the group. Instigating group 
self-analysis is one way of resolving conflict. This function needs to be performed when 
the group is acting unfairly toward one of its members or when the group has not been 
living up to its own professional standards. Focusing concentration on the behavior of 
the members and examining such behavior in an open light will frequently put an end to 
it, if it is done in a nonjudgmental way. 

Regulating participation is the ability to tactfully manage group members' partici- 
pation. Knowing when to increase one member's activity and reduce another's takes a 
great deal of practice and sensitivity. A leader will notice when someone has not spoken, 
but appears thoughtful, and directly encourage them to offer their ideas. Finally, 
climate-making is the leadership function that provides a sense of safety for members. 
All group members want to feel they are an important part of the group and free to be 
themselves and express their opinions. The use of humor to deflate tension is an 
important instance of climate-making. Encourage the development of team spirit and 
morale. 

B. Seven Negative Functions 

For the most part, negative behaviors occur when leadership functions are over- 
played. Dominating happens most often when a fire officer is controlling goal-setting 
and agenda-making too rigidly. Also, the officer is probably contributing too many of the 
ideas to the group and not encouraging member participation. 

Blocking occurs when a fire team member works too hard at playing the "devil's 
advocate." This may stop the group from reaching the necessary conclusions. Playing 
the clown usually takes place when a firefighter gets carried away with climate-making 
functions. This type of behavior can obstruct progress toward goals when carried on too 
long or too intensively. Try pointing out to the joker privately how his or her behavior is 
affecting the rest of the group. 

Self-confessing— seeking the group's support for emotional needs— and help- 
seeking— asking the group to constantly "stroke" and encourage a sulking or needy 
member— can cause major problems for fire department groups. These behaviors 
frequently occur because of the dangerous nature of the work and long periods of time 
spent together. A good fire officer tries to keep personal disclosure within safe limits. 
When a group gets caught up in its members' personal problems, that can soon become 
the full-time job of the group. On the other hand, disclosure and group support are 
sometimes effective stress-management tools. You will need to make a judgment as to 
whether the team's interests are being served, and recommend outside counseling if a 
truly serious situation develops. 



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The fire service has a long tradition of public humility and private heroism. Thus, 
when a fire team or group member tries to be singled out for special recognition, other 
group members may turn on that member and you, the fire officer, have a major internal 
group problem. Understanding the member's need for special recognition and giving it to 
him or her in a way that the other members won't resent may help you solve this prob- 
lem. 

Finally, special interest pleading is an anti-leadership behavior because it works 
against the good of the group. This occurs when a group member tries to influence the 
group to do things that serve only the selfish interests of a few members or an outside 
group. Stop this problem immediately by reinforcing the image of a team working 
together for the good of all members. 

C. Leadership as Power 

Social scientists who study power have broken it into six different types of power. 
All types have their strengths and weaknesses and are useful under different situations. 

When a firefighter is first promoted to the officer ranks, one of the first feelings is 
frequently that of being powerless. For a young officer, le gitimate power , or power 
assigned to him or her by the organization, does not necessarily produce a lot of influ- 
ence. American work groups tend to be irreverent toward legitimate power, and 
American fire teams can be very irreverent. Further, a fire officer soon discovers that 
the many different tasks in the fire service require such a diverse knowledge base that at 
almost every turn there is someone else in the group who has more expert power than he 
or she does. Expert power, which is based on knowledge of specific technical situations, 
should be combined with legitimate power to strengthen and consolidate the latter type 
of power. 

All fire officers have some power of information because they receive regular, 
formal communication from the hierarchy. However, someone in the group usually has 
an ear to the grapevine. Information seems to travel twice as fast in informal channels, 
and information is power. Getting group members to share information is an important 
leadership skill. 

Referent power , or charisma, is the personal attraction that some people have. It 
is the ability to so embody group ideals that group members wish to identify with you and 
"refer" to you as an ideal standard. It's a magic that few of us have very much of and it 
cannot be counted on as a basis of officer power. However, if you do have it, you can use 
it to confer approval and give encouragement to group members who can benefit from 
your good opinion. 

Reward and coercive power are two sides of the same coin. Most fire officers 
complain that they do not have rewards to hand out and they are reluctant to use coer- 
cive power. However, research shows that group members will accept the fair use of 
reward and punishment if it comes from a legitimate power source. 

Few fire officers have either the personalities or the situational conditions to allow 
them to make the best of all six types of power. Recognize which type or types of power 
you use most effectively and look to members of your group to provide the other types 
for the benefit of yourself and the entire group. Let that power work for you, not 

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against you. If you show that you are confident in your own power and encourage rather 
than fear the constructive use of others' power, you will rapidly gain the respect you 
need to lead effectively. 

D. "Followership: Developing Leadership Traits 

Leadership traits, as we have said, are not innate. Nor do they appear suddenly on 
promotion. Instead, they develop through creative "followership" which can be fostered 
both by supervisee and supervisor. The practice of followership means anticipating the 
needs of one's superior and organization. The future leader is one who takes 
responsibility for his or her own job performance, rather than passively waiting to be told 
what to do. This person knows the job , and has the initiative to ask questions when a 
superior's expectations are unclear instead of complaining to fellow workers and doing 
nothing. Alert followers know how to do the job, and constantly assess their skills, 
seeking opportunites for development. Finally, they do it. In difficult periods they are 
able to motivate themselves while others wait for something or someone to "start the 
engine." They are active, committed, dynamic, and involved— not passive, unquestioning, 
or self-centered. 

A good leader will never see these traits in a subordinate as somehow a threat to 
his or her authority, but will recognize them as an asset and encourage their growth. A 
leader will challenge supervisees to achieve their full potential through appropriate 
responsibilities, enabling them to stretch and grow. They will not hesitate to delegate 
when it is appropriate. Further, they will share information about the employees' 
strengths and weaknesses honestly, and communicate with them about important goals 
and projects. They will encourage thought , and even challenges to their own ideas, 
respectfully presented, knowing that such ideas can result in improved effectiveness for 
the work group and a chance for the future leader to show initiative. 

Few experiences are more satisfying than this nurturing of talent. Try a little 
"gardening" in your work group, and see what grows ! The results could make your year. 

SECTION III. LEADERSHIP STYLES 

There is a natural tendency to stereotype fire officers into one of two groups: the 
"task masters" and the "human relations experts." It does seem that some leaders are 
very goal-oriented and take a no-nonsense approach to work that seems to allow little 
time for the human needs of the group. Other leaders tend to take a considerable 
amount of time to ensure that group members are happy in their work. These officers 
seem particularly sensitive to the interpersonal needs of the group. 

Although it is probably true that each officer has a tendency to be one kind of 
leader or the other, a fire officer cannot afford the luxury of specializing in either the 
task or social dimension of group life. He or she must have a range of leadership styles 
that can be adapted to the level of the group's task and social maturity , and which are 
workable within a given fire department's culture. 



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A. Four Leadership Styles 



There are four basic leadership styles, each one most effective with a particular 
group. A tell style is high on directed, structured communication on how to do the job. 
This would be most appropriate with a new training group of rookie firefighters. At this 
stage they need to have every move directed by their leader. Interpersonal skills are less 
important; the main emphasis is on clear explanation of what is required, with the 
assumption that the requirements are not open for discussion. 

As the group learns various tasks, they might start asking you why they were doing 
it the way you taught them. At this point, you would begin to change your style to that 
of selling them on your approach to the problem. You would increase your social com- 
munication on why you prefer a job to be done in a certain way. Otherwise, your group 
will tend to grumble and motivation will diminish. An example of a situation calling for 
this style would be a new captain explaining how he or she would like to see the house 
run. 

As the group gains more experience and confidence, their need to contribute their 
own ideas will increase. They will want to add ideas and change some things as they see 
fit. It is time to adapt your leadership style to participate since the group is more 
mature. They may find a better, cost-efficient way of approaching a function. A 
volunteer fire chief working with a somewhat experienced fire company on prefire 
planning would do well to adopt a participatory approach. 

Finally, on some tasks, you might delegate the job. Your group members now know 
how to do the work and they know you respect them for their maturity. An experienced 
engine company on a routine grass fire, or an experienced work unit planning Fire 
Prevention Week, might call for a "delegate" style. 

Adapting your leadership style to the needs of the group involves constant 
evaluation of the progress of the group and the needs of each specific situation. If you 
use a "delegation" style with an inexperienced fire team, they will be confused; 
conversely, if you use a "tell" style with a very experienced group, they may find ways to 
do the task wrong out of irritation at your failure to notice their ability. In choosing 
your approach, always consider: 

• Organizational culture, 

• Group maturity (task experience), 

• Group time together, 

• Amount and type of power you possess, and 

• Your contact with different styles. 

B. Using a Situational Style Theory 

Analyzing the situation in order to use the most effective leadership style involves 
assessing the experience, confidence, and ability of the group members; correctly evalu- 
ating the fire department management culture under which you are working; and knowing 
the amount and type of power that you have and using it effectively. Leadership in the 
fire service is a never-ending challenge. A good fire officer leads effectively by knowing 
and practicing the correct leadership traits, functions, powers, and then compiles them 
into a flexible leadership style. 

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SUPPLEMENTARY READING 
FIRE SERVICE SUPERVISION: INCREASING PERSONAL EFFECTIVENESS 

UNIT THREE: STRESS MANAGEMENT 

SECTION I. STRESS: WHAT IS IT AND WHY DOES IT MATTER? 

A. The Nature of Stress 

As a firefighter, you are a member of a profession that requires you to think fast 
and accurately in situations where success is critical. This type of stress leads to 
mental, physical, and chemical changes that can impair both your health and your 
organization's effectiveness unless you learn to recognize signs of excessive stress in 
yourself or others, and act effectively to prevent or reduce it. 

Firefighting is stressful, partly because its activities are sporadic, their timing 
unpredictable. When a call comes in, the station springs to action. High levels of 
glucose and oxygen are released to key organs, your heart rate increases, more blood is 
pumped to your brain and skeletal muscles, adrenalin is released, your blood pressure 
goes up, and hormones are released. You feel excited, ready for action. 

On the other hand, long periods may pass without a call or much physical work. 
This, too, may become stressful and cause some of the same physical reactions as a 
call. Both prolonged periods of high activity and extremely low activity can cause stress. 

These reactions of the body to outside demands served our human ancestors very 
well and can serve us in short-term emergencies. The physical and chemical changes in 
reaction to a life-threatening challenge are called the "fight or flight" syndrome. They 
prepare our bodies by giving us extra energy to either remain and fight, or run for 
survival and safety. 

Hans Selye, the "father" of stress research, calls the body's reaction to a stressor 
(stress causing event) the "General Adaptation Syndrome," (G.A.S.). The G.A.S. includes 
all physical and emotional changes as they develop throughout a period of prolonged 
stress. The stages are alarm, resistance, and finally exhaustion. 

When you first become aware of a stressor— a fire alarm, the start of a family 
disturbance, a life-threatening situation, or an unfriendly summons from the chief— your 
initial reaction is alarm. You may feel confused or slightly disoriented during this stage, 
which may last less than a second. These symptoms disappear during resistance, the 
second stage. Your ability to deal with an emergency situation rises above its normal 
level during this phase. Your adrenalin, blood, hormones, and chemicals are being 
pumped to ready you for fight or flight. Your body will do exactly the same thing to 
prepare you for a major presentation to the City Council as it would for the physical 
demands of the fireground; however, if the resistance stage is prolonged as you prepare 
your speech, the result may be fatigue, anxiety, tenseness, or extreme irritability. 

Exhaustion, the final stage of the G.A.S., occurs when your body's energy reserves 
have been used up, either in an intense release of energy during resistance or in a 

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prolonged low-level release. Usually, we recover after rest, but extreme exhaustion can 
lead to apathy and emotional withdrawal, or even to death. 

Stress is an adaptation to the realities of the world we live in. When faced with an 
emergency, the body reacts by giving us extra energy needed to cope with the situation. 
After the emergency has passed, resistance drops below normal levels, giving our bodies 
a chance to rest and recuperate so we may start the G.A.S. over again when another 
danger arises. 

Stress is necessary for survival. In addition to the surge of energy needed to cope 
with a crisis, called distress, there is also "eustress." Hans Selye coined this word from 
the Greek "eu" (meaning good, as in euphoria), to describe the pleasant form of stress. 

Imagine your chief calls you in. You are likely to experience some degree of alarm 
if you have no idea what to expect. If he or she has called you in to fire you, you will 
experience distress. However, you would experience eustress if you were told you had 
successfully qualified for a promotion. Both actions would cause similar changes in your 
body, but one would be experienced as pleasant, the other unpleasant. 

Some researchers believe the amount of stress you experience from a task is 
related to how great a demand it places on your attention. J. Kalsbeek finds six 
categories of work classified this way. Category VI involves information-handling under 
pressure with a high amount of motivation required to complete the task at hand. 
Reserve capacities of energy are being used, and staying in this category for long is 
dangerous to your health. An example would be a peakload for an air traffic controller, 
or commanding a multijurisdictional response to a serious incident. 

Attention Category V also involves a high degree of attention to the task at hand, 
but no special motivation is required. An example would be maneuvering in heavy 
traffic. This category is also dangerous if continued for a long period of time. Fighting 
a fire or responding to some other emergency situation would almost always involve you 
in categories V and VI. A good fireground commander will rotate personnel and see that 
"breathers" are taken when needed so that the team can continue to perform efficiently 
for both the emergency at hand and the one two hours away. 

A normal level of mental activity, one in which you must pay frequent and 
conscious attention to the task but do have moments free for other thoughts or 
activities, falls into Category IV. This would include difficult maintenance tasks or 
report preparation. Category III is also a normal level of activity, but the tasks are 
simpler or more routine and require less attention than those in IV. 

Routine, repetitive tasks requiring only incidental attention fall into categories I 
and II. A very slow day in the firehouse may find firefighters involved in tasks in these 
categories, fighting the stress effects of boredom and fatigue, both of which lead to loss 
of initiative and decreased performance. 

These categories will not be the same for every person. It is important to 
recognize that a task that may be boring for you may be challenging and fulfilling for 
someone else. A good supervisor will keep this in mind in making assignments, so that 
people are operating under optimum stress levels for their skills. Obviously, it is also 
important that you understand what tasks fall in which categories for you, and attempt 
to balance your levels of stress so you stay alert and productive. 

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B. Results of Excessive Stress 

Stress is healthy as long as we have an opportunity to rid our bodies of its effects in 
a burst of energy appropriate to the physical arousal for the event. In other words, if 
there is an emergency call that your station responds to, the fire is successfully 
suppressed, and all the people inside are rescued, the tension that you felt when the 
alarm was sounded has been released in a good effort by you and your fellow 
firefighters. You go home feeling tired from the effort, but no longer "keyed up." 

But what if, instead, there is a false alarm? Or what if the team has been unable 
to rescue a family member, and has witnessed the grief and perhaps anger of relatives? 
The result will be continued stress that will have to be relieved. Stress that builds over 
time dramatically increases the probability of illness, injury, and death. Continued stress 
affects your emotional state, creating anxiety, fragmentation of thought, loss of 
integrating ability, and "tunnel vision" in which we are able to perceive only small parts 
of what is going on around us. The result will be an increase in "careless" accidents. 

Heart attacks account for almost 55 percent of all deaths in this country. Although 
there are many factors involved, the cumulative effect of stress is a major factor in such 
deaths. In fact, Dr. Selye has demonstrated that heart attacks can be induced chemically 
by excessive stress, even when there is no damage to the arteries in the heart. 

Excessive stress may also be a key factor in backaches and migraine headaches. 
Migraines, the result of dilation of the blood vessels in the head, often occur during the 
evenings or weekends, when a person is no longer under any actual stress but is 
continuing to maintain the same body reactions since the stress was not relieved 
properly. Prolonged tightening of the muscles in the lower back, a frequent result of 
stress, can cause severe backaches. 

Stress also contributes to ulcers by keeping the gastric system working full-time, 
whether it is needed or not. Acid produced by the gastric system actually eats holes in 
the lining of the stomach and duodenum. Ulcerative colitis, another serious form of 
ulcer, is frequently fatal. Diet may also be related to ulcers, but as Dr. I. Mendeloff, 
former president of the American Gastroenterological Association, put it: "It's what's 
eating you rather than what you're eating that is the real culprit in the development of 
ulcers." 

Some researchers now believe that stress is also a factor in cancer deaths. 
Lawrence Leshan of New York's Institute of Applied Biology studied 450 cancer patients 
for 12 years. He found that the cancer patients had three characteristics in common far 
more often than a control group: First, most had experienced the loss of a very 
important personal relationship just before their disease was identified. Second, almost 
half of them were unable to vent hostile feelings toward others. Third, many of the 
cancer patients had a high level of tension regarding the death of one of their parents, 
even when the death had occurred a long time ago. 

High blood pressure, or hypertension, affects between 23 and 44 million 
Americans. If you are hyperactive, you are four times as likely to have a heart attack or 
a stroke as someone with normal blood pressure. Stress has been identified as a cause of 
hypertension. More importantly, stress can accelerate the effects of an existing 
hypertensive condition. When your body encounters a real or imagined threat and goes 

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into the alarm stage of the G.AJS., it responds by increasing the blood pressure. When 
the threat subsides, the blood pressure normally drops back to its usual level. If you are 
unable to relieve that stress, however, the blood pressure remains elevated, creating 
unnecessary, long-term stress on the complex network of blood vessels. 

Excessive stress can have quite an effect on your emotional life as well. At work, 
you may become tense and snap at coworkers for little or no cause. At home and in 
other personal relationships, excessive stress can damage these relationships by making 
you anxious, angry, or depressed. You've probably had the experience of getting angry at 
a friend or family member when you feel frustrated or depressed, even though that 
person is not the cause of your anger. 

Unfortunately, there are many ways to cope with excessive stress that can have 
worse effects than the stress they were meant to relieve. Alcohol and smoking 
cigarettes are two of the most socially acceptable ways to relieve tension. Increased 
consumption of either cigarettes or alcohol could be a symptom of excessive stress. 
Although smokers claim that it relaxes them, nicotine temporarily raises blood pressure 
and levels of cholesterol and noradrenaline, a close relative of adrenaline. In effect, 
then, the more you smoke, the more stressed you will be. Alcohol, on the other hand, 
does cause relaxation— and a host of medical and social problems of its own if used to 
excess. Drugs and tranquilizers are also widely used in our country by those who have 
not learned stress management techniques. Valium, the most popular tranquilizer, is one 
of the top three bestselling drugs in the country. 

Although stress can be momentarily relieved by drugs and tranquilizers, addiction 
almost always causes additional stress because of the need to hide the addiction from co- 
workers and family, guilt over the problem, and a realization that addiction brings on its 
own stress as the user loses confidence in his or her own ability to control stressors. This 
sense of being "out of control" can lead, in extreme cases, to deep depression and even 
suicide. 

Overeating may also be a destructive way of diverting attention from stressors. A 
full stomach and intestine create a demand for blood in the abdomen, thereby decreasing 
the amount of blood circulating in the brain, leading to a slight tranquilizing effect. 

An increased intake of coffee may also be a reaction to stress that will place addi- 
tional strain on the body. Coffee drinkers frequently drink more when they're under 
stress. However, excessive amounts of caffeine can cause the same physical changes in 
your body as anxiety— edginess, nervousness, insomnia, and headaches. 

When individuals suffer from stress, the organization that employs them suffers 
too. Absenteeism, low productivity, higher than normal rate of accidents, high turnover, 
early retirements, anti-social acts such as theft and expressions of hostility, and 
mistakes in critical situations may all be symptoms of excessive stress in an 
organization. Stress among some members of the work group almost invariably increases 
stress among other members. 



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SECTION II. CAUSES OF STRESS 

A. Overview of Causes 

There are four basic ways in which we stress ourselves emotionally— time stress, 
anticipatory stress, situational stress, and encounter stress. 

Time stress is one which many people face daily. The worry here is that time will 
run out before our mission is accomplished. In the world of firefighting, this is a very 
real stress. Will rescue be completed in time? Will the building collapse before rescue is 
possible? 

Imagining what will happen in the future and then worrying about it is called antici- 
patory stress. This is generally worry for worry's sake without a clear reason for 
anticipating the thing ahead. 

Situational stress results from the demands posed by a specific situation. Every 
emergency call involves uncertainty, a firefighter's feeling of responsibility for the out- 
come of the situation, and a concern for one's physical well-being. This stress can 
actually help during the emergency and is only harmful when it is not released after the 
situation is over. 

Encounter stress is caused by important meetings or conversations, conflicts with 
other people, or unpredictable behavior on the part of someone you work or interact with 
in some way. It is essential to monitor your own reactions closely enough to recognize 
each of these types of stressors when they occur and be careful not to let them cause 
prolonged distress. 

Let's now look at some specific sources of stress, beginning with the work environ- 
ment. 

Poor relationships with coworkers may result in daily "encounter stress." A poor 
work climate may result from lack of support, inadequate channels for decisionmaking 
participation, no positive feedback, unclear expectations, or poor communication. A 
poor physical environment at work— noise, crowding, cigarette smoke, or dirt— may also 
cause stress reactions of varying intensity for individuals. 

Shift work, common to firefighters, confuses the biological clock, adding to 
stress. Large amounts of responsibility also contribute to the demands that can lead to 
stress. It has been shown that mid-management personnel have the highest stress levels, 
since there is usually a lot of responsibility without complete control. Monotonous or 
over-demanding workloads, both of which are likely in a fire station on different days, 
are stressors. 

Any change, or continued lack of change, in career development may be stressful. 
The sense that one is not growing in the job, is at a dead end, or can no longer perform as 
well as in the past may affect self-image and commitment. A fear of not being able to 
meet expectations in a new role is a familiar source of anxiety as well. A good 
supervisor will be attuned to these tensions in employees and react supportively. 

Dramatic life-style changes in the 20th century have greatly contributed to the 
stress epidemic we are undergoing today. The breakdown in the family, increase in 

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crime, economic uncertainty, faster pace of life, and amazing advances in technology are 
all changes that require adjustment and result in stress. 

Family and personal life may add stressors to one's life. Quarrels, losses, deaths, 
changes, additions, financial problems, separation, and divorce are changes in life that 
make a demand for adjustment. Marriage or the birth of a child are normally happy 
events, but they are also major changes that must be adjusted to and are therefore also 
stressors. 

B. Stressful Elements in Situations 

There are many elements in each situation that can either increase the amount of 
stress or reduce it. Several of these factors are shown below. 



STRESSFUL ELEMENTS IN SITUATIONS 



Stress Increasers 

Unpredictability 

Uncertainty 

Uncontrollability 

Lack of support 

Danger 

Unfamiliarity 

Change 

Confusion 

Urgency 

Responsibility 

Tight time frame 

Constant demand for attention 



Stress Reducers 

Predictability 

Certainty 

Controllability 

Support 

Security 

Familiarity 

Stability 

Clarity 

Sufficient time 

Shared responsibility 
(with reliable person) 

Reasonable time frame 

Demand for attention with 
some letup 



C. Fire Department Stressors 

The firefighting profession has certain stressors not found in most other careers. 
For example, firefighters function with a high level of uncertainty. There is little 



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control over what happens at work. False alarms and the difficulty of getting all the 
needed information for "size-up" add to the amount of stress. 

When a fire alarm is sounded, the firefighter's body goes into the alarm and 
resistance stage of the G.A.S. If the run produces little physical activity, the body does 
not have a chance to release the tension and it remains, causing both emotional and 
physical stress. 

Firefighters must work as a close knit team in order to function most effectively. 
This can be beneficial in terms of feeling part of the group, but it can also produce 
tension, since the interdependence diminishes your personal control over your job. 
Equipment breakdown could have very serious consequences and tension can be produced 
if you worry that another worker has perhaps not done his or her job well in that area. 
Weak leadership can have pronounced effects on such a team effort as firefighting, 
causing prolonged stress. 

Firefighters must respond to human tragedy at an immediate and raw level. 
Talking to a family that just lost its home, dealing with sick and injured persons, and 
coping with death produce emotional stress reactions. Since firefighters are expected to 
deal with such things as a matter of course in their jobs, they frequently maintain an 
unemotional front. This suppression of natural emotions takes a great deal of physical 
and emotional energy and causes stress. Having to witness unnecessary deaths brings a 
feeling of helplessness that must be released in some way after the tragedy. 

The logical fears of personal injuries or death create stress, as does the denial of 
such fears. Irregular work hours demand that the body adjust frequently to different 
times for sleeping, eating, and working. 

The paramilitary structure common to fire departments, generally allows little 
participation in decisionmaking processes and a feeling of diminished control over one's 
fate. 



SECTION III. ASSESSING STRESS LEVEL 

We have seen that major life changes demand adjustments and cause stress, 
whether the change is good or bad. The stress then lowers the body's resistance, making 
us more susceptible to illnesses. Stress, like hypertension, is at times not noticed until it 
has already caused physical damage that may be irreparable. It is important to recognize 
when you are under prolonged periods of stress and to compensate during those times by 
releasing the stress in physically beneficial ways, rather than allow it to interfere with 
job efficiency and personal life. It is also vital to know when stress levels are climbing 
too high for the company or department as a whole. 

A. Social Readjustment Rating Scale 

The Social Readjustment Rating Scale, developed by T. H. Holmes and R. H. Rahe 
in 1967, is widely used to measure the level of major life changes an individual has 
experienced during the past 12 months. The developers of this scale have given 
numerical values to 22 different major life changes. Correlations have been established 

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between scores on the scale and serious illness during the next year. The higher the 
score, the greater the chance of illness. 

Specifically, a score of 150 to 199 correlates with a 37% chance of serious illness; 
200 to 299 suggests a 51% chance; and over 300 indicates a 79% chance. 

Since the impact of various stressors will differ among people, however, the 
assessment is an approximation. Vulnerability to stress from these major life changes 
depends on how an individual copes with stress. 

This scale can be used to increase awareness of stress levels in your department. It 
could be administered regularly on a yearly basis to all in the department or be given to 
individuals when signs of stress are evident at work. High scores would indicate that 
stress-reducing techniques that either alter the stress source or the individual's ability to 
cope with it should be applied. 

B. Questions Regarding Everyday Stressors 

Although major life changes obviously are stress producing, several researchers 
believe that it is the everyday annoyances of life that contribute more to illness and 
depression than major life changes. In a survey of 210 Florida police officers, 
Psychologists Charles Spielberger and Kenneth Grier of the University of South Florida 
found that the day-to-day friction of dealing with what the officers saw as an ineffective 
judicial system and distorted press accounts about their work were far more stressful 
than responding to a felony in progress or making arrests. 

In other stress surveys, police sergeants in Houston complained more about routine 
paper pushing than physical danger, while air traffic controllers complained more about 
such trivial details as management and shift schedules than the strain of guiding heavy 
air traffic. 

It is extremely important to keep track of these smaller, cumulative annoyances in 
order to keep your stress level from rising dramatically. The 15 questions regarding 
everyday stressors found in your note-taking outline will give you a good idea of your 
possible stress level. Individuals with scores in the 60 to 75 range have been found to 
have significantly more serious health problems than the other groups. Interestingly, 
individuals in the 15 to 25 range have the second highest level of serious illness. 
Individuals with scores from 25 to 60 are considered the healthiest, indicating that a 
moderate level of stress is good for one's health. 

This instrument could be used to analyze the everyday stressors in your department 
or company. It is probably best to have individuals answer the questions anonymously. 
People would then feel more comfortable being truthful about these stresses and 
management would get a much better idea of steps it may need to take to reduce levels 
of stress and increase efficiency and morale. 

C. Selye's 31 Early Warning Signals 

Dr. Hans Selye claims that there are problems with the Social Readjustment Rating 
Scale and the Questions Regarding Everyday Stressors because they don't make any 

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allowance for the significant difference between eustress and distress. In addition, these 
scales do not measure or take into account the fact that people have quite differing 
abilities to cope with stressors. He urges that the rating instruments be used with care. 
They can be valuable in pointing out approximate stress levels, especially for groups of 
people, but they cannot predict accurately how individuals will react to either major life 
changes or everyday annoyances. 

Selye's list of 31 signs of danger, included in your note-taking outline, may help you 
to recognize stress in yourself or a co-worker. You may then be able to take appropriate 
steps to identify the stressor and reduce its impact, or increase coping ability. 

D. Type A or B 

The mind and body are intimately linked in stress— physical changes in the body 
lead to emotional changes and vice versa. A crucial research finding, published in the 
early 60's, was that heart disease could be linked to a specific type of behavior known as 
"Type A." Type A Behavior and Your Heart, by Meyer Friedman and Ray H. Rosenman, 
summarized years of their findings as cardiologists and researchers. Their conclusions 
have now been confirmed by further research and won wide acceptance. 

Type A people have several general characteristics in common: they are 
competitive, aggressive, deadline-driven, impatient, restless, and tend to see other 
people as obstacles in their path. The Type B person, on the other hand, has little 
hostility, a rational approach to achievement and recognition, and an easy-going, relaxed 
approach to life. Although most people fall somewhere in the middle of these extreme 
categorizations, one tendency is usually more dominant. 

If you feel a constant struggle with the environment, find yourself expressing 
hostility to coworkers, family, and friends, or are a workaholic, you are exhibiting Type 
A behavior and are probably putting your body and mind under prolonged and unnecessary 
stress. Type As tend to "burnout" more frequently than the Type B personality who is 
relaxed and has a balance in his or life. Further, although they push harder and are more 
competitive than Type B personalities, there is no evidence that Type As are more 
successful as a group. 

Do you honk when the driver in front of you doesn't move immediately when the 
light turns green? Do you tend to move, walk, and eat rapidly? Do you complete 
sentences for other people instead of waiting for them to finish themselves? Do you plan 
your vacations with as packed a schedule as a typical workday? If you answer yes to 
these questions, you probably fit the Type A personality. 

If you do have a Type A personality, it does not mean you are stuck with that for 
life. You can modify your behavior to a healthier behavioral pattern. We will learn more 
about that in the next section. 

The stress amplifiers and stress reducers shown in Visual 3.8 can be used to judge 
what areas of your life need work in order to reduce stress or to maintain it at an 
acceptable level. These factors have been found to affect stress levels after years of 
research, both through surveys and laboratory testing, and should be taken seriously as 
health concerns that can also impair productivity at the personal or organizational level. 

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SECTION IV. REDUCING STRESS 

A. Reducing Stress at the Personal Level 

Although there are many stressors in your life over which you have no direct 
control— hard economic times, pollution, increasing crime in your community— you can 
change the way you cope with both major life changes and everyday stressors. Keeping 
your body in good shape with regular exercise and a balanced diet, improving your time 
management skills, learning techniques for relaxation, modifying your "Type A" 
tendencies and building a supportive network of relationships are all positive changes 
that will enable you to better handle stress. 

Six commonly used, successful relaxation techniques are described below. Although 
all of them have been proven successful, each person should study them all and find those 
that work best. 



Biofeedback 

Stress raises blood pressure, brain wave activity, heart rate, and increases muscle 
tension and skin sweating. Biofeedback is simply a way to help you control these 
automatic functions of the automatic nervous system. Biofeedback is an amazingly 
simple but revolutionary idea— a machine provides feedback on how much stress there is 
in a certain part of the body and the user learns what to do internally to reduce stress 
readings. The machine creates whatever change there is. 

For instance, the biofeedback machine can be set to measure the temperature in 
fingers. The more relaxed they are, the warmer they will be. As mental commands take 
affect and the temperature of cool fingers is raised, a more relaxed state is generated. 
Another type of biofeedback machine measures muscle tension rather than 
temperature. The machine emits a tone— the louder the tone, the greater the tension in 
that particular muscle group. It becomes very easy to relax those muscles since you are 
getting constant, accurate feedback about how well you are doing. 

It is a good idea to check with your physician before starting on a program of 
biofeedback since the symptoms you believe are caused by stress could possibly be caused 
by some underlying medical problem. Since each biofeedback machine only helps you 
with specific control of an area where stress manifests itself, it is also wise to use one of 
the other relaxation techniques described below in combination with biofeedback. 

Self-Hypnosis and Autosuggestion 

There are a number of misconceptions regarding hypnosis, especially as practiced 
by stage hypnotists. The first misconception is that hypnosis is the same as sleep. This 
is not true. You are not unconscious and unaware while in a hypnotic state, you actually 
have tremendous awareness and sensitivity. Second, you do not lose control of yourself 
under hypnosis. You do lose the conscious feeling of control, yet you are still in control 
to handle any emergencies that may occur. Third, and most important, you cannot enter 
a hypnotic state against your wishes. You allow yourself to slip into the state. 



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Robert Woolfolk defines hypnosis as "the altered state of consciousness that results 
from focusing awareness on a set of suggestions— all while allowing free reign to one's 
powers of imagination." 

There are different types of hypnotic states, but we are concerned only with the 
alteration of consciousness that allows you to relax and give yourself suggestions- 
autosuggestions. 

There are two methods that are typically used in self-hypnosis: eye-fixation and 
eye-roll. To use the eye-fixation method, put yourself in a comfortable position, 
preferably lying on the floor. Focus your attention on some stationary object. As you 
concentrate on it, silently tell yourself that your eyelids are getting heavier and heavier, 
that they will soon close and you'll be very relaxed, yet fully aware. Repeat this 
suggestion every minute. Let your eyelids close when they become very heavy. Take a 
deep, slow breath, hold it for 10 to 15 seconds, and then exhale. Continue this breathing, 
saying the word "relax" each time you exhale. Imagine tension physically escaping your 
body with each breath. 

To use the eye-roll technique, roll your eyes inward and upward and look at the 
center of the top of your forehead. Hold this position, close your eyes, take a deep 
breath, then hold the breath, release it, and let your eyes return to their normal 
position. Imagine your body getting heavier and heavier, warmer and warmer. Start with 
your feet and imagine each part of your body becoming warm and heavy until your entire 
body is relaxed. Take another deep breath, hold it, and say the word "deeper" as you 
begin to exhale. Imagine yourself on a slow-moving escalator and going deeper into your 
trance as you go down on the escalator. Remember that you are in control at all times. 
If you want to come out of this light trance, say "I'm coming out," and then open your 
eyes. 

No matter which method you use, you will be very relaxed by this time. Your body 
is completely relaxed and your mind is very open for suggestions. Jere E. Yates gives 
these six guidelines to help you formulate good suggestions. 

1. The more you repeat the suggestion, the more effective it will be. 

2. Be positive rather than negative. Say to yourself, "I am going to be more 
relaxed as I face deadlines in the future," rather than "I shouldn't get so tense 
over meeting deadlines." 

3. Don't expect drastic changes overnight. Anticipate progress in degrees. 

4. See yourself gradually feeling better about yourself, rather than saying that 
you are going to try to feel better about yourself. The latter approach implies 
that your chances of changing are not very good. 

5. Avoid phrasing your suggestions as orders. Instead of saying "I must," say "I 
choose to." Resistance to taking orders from anyone, including oneself, seems 
built into most of us. 

6. Try to develop a visual image that reinforces your suggestion. Imagine 
yourself as being relaxed as you face an important deadline. Imagery can be 



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very powerful. There's little doubt that you can reduce stress through self- 
hypnosis and autosuggestion if you are open and receptive to the idea. 

Progressive Muscle Relaxation 

This method, first discovered by Emund Jacobson, induces relaxation first in the 
body, and then in the mind, using a series of sequential physical exercises. One muscle 
group in the body (say the hand and forearm) is held tense for about seven seconds and 
then completely and abruptly relaxed for 20 to 60 seconds. This tension-release pattern 
is released again and then used on other muscle groups throughout the body. 

In addition to reducing physical and then emotional stress, this method allows you 
to recognize how your muscles feel when they are relaxed. This will sensitize you to 
tension and stress when it does occur and you can take steps to relieve that stress before 
it gets out of control. 

Progressive muscle relaxation can be done either lying down or sitting comfortably, 
at work or at home. Once you learn the technique, you can adjust it to fit your own 
particular needs. 

First, get comfortable, close your eyes, and try to relax to the best of your 
ability. Cease to pay attention to distracting thoughts as they come in and just let go. 
Think of a nice, relaxing scene. Throughout the exercise, keep this scene in the back of 
your mind. 

Next, take a deep breath and hold it. Be sure to use your diaphragm. Start by 
filling the lower chest cavity and then expand to the upper area of the lungs. Slowly 
exhale after seven seconds. Each time you exhale, imagine all tension leaving your body 
with the breath. You will begin to feel your whole body relaxing. 

Now direct your attention to the muscles of your right hand and forearm. Clench 
your fist and hold it as tightly as possible for seven seconds. Be aware of the tension in 
your forearm. Then relax your fist immediately. Notice the difference between the 
tensed and relaxed states. Enjoy the relaxation for 20 to 60 seconds and then repeat the 
sequence. 

Move now to your right bicep muscle, but keep your wrist limp. Repeat the 
tension-release cycle twice for the bicep then for your upper right arm. 

Do your left arm, using the same tension-release pattern twice for each muscle 
group. Next, do your face muscles, eye muscles, jaw, lips, neck muscles, shoulders, 
stomach muscles, buttocks, thighs, and calves, until you've gone through all the major 
muscle groups in your body. 

When you have tensed and then released your body, imagine that relaxing scene 
again and again and enjoy the state of complete relaxation and tranquility. When you are 
ready to rouse yourself, gently move a limb or two and then open your eyes. 



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The Relaxation Response 

Dr. Herbert Benson of the Harvard Medical School has developed a technique for 
relaxation that is based on four components. First, you need a quiet environment that 
offers few distractions. Second, you need a mental device to concentrate on to divert 
your attention from outside worries and concerns. (Benson recommends use of the word 
"one.") Third, you must develop a passive attitude. When distracting thoughts enter your 
mind, just disregard them and think about your word or phrase again. Fourth, you must 
be in a comfortable position. Benson recommends a comfortable sitting position rather 
than lying down since it is easier to fall asleep in the latter position. 

Benson's technique is as follows: 

1. Sit quietly in a comfortable position. 

2. Close your eyes. 

3. Deeply relax all your muscles, beginning at your feet and progressing up to 
your face. Keep them relaxed. 

4. Breathe through your nose. Become aware of your breathing. As you breathe 
out, say the word "one," silently to yourself. Breathe easily and naturally. 

5. Continue for 10 to 20 minutes. You may open you eyes to check the time, but 
do not use an alarm. When you finish, sit quietly for several minutes, at first 
with your eyes closed and later with your eyes open. Do not stand up for a few 
minutes. 

6. Do not worry about whether you are successful in achieving a deep level of 
relaxation. Maintain a passive attitude and permit relaxation to occur at its 
own pace. When distracting thoughts occur, try to ignore them by not dwelling 
on them, and return to repeating "one." With practice, the response should 
come with little effort. Practice the technique once or twice daily, but not 
within two hours after any meal, since the digestive processes seem to 
interfere with the Relaxation Response. 

Other Forms of Meditation 

There are several methods of reaching the same state of body relaxation and 
calmness of mind other than those described above. Transcendental Meditation, or TM, 
Yoga, and Autogenic Training are some of these. We will briefly describe their methods 
and results because there are more complicated aspects to their practices which should 
best be learned from someone trained in their practice. 

TM was introduced to the United States in 1959 by the Indian teacher, Maharishi 
Mahesh Yogi. TM is designed to take you to a state of restfulness, which is also 
characterized by a heightened sense of alertness. The technique involves repeating a 
mantra (a monosyllabic word or sound specially chosen for you) for 20 minutes a day in 
the morning and evening. 



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Yoga has proven a successful method of decreasing stress through a mixture of 
mental and physical approaches. Yoga involves various body postures and breathing 
exercises and aims to unite mind and body to bring inner tranquility. 

Autogenic training was developed by Johannes H. Schultz to bring about a deep 
mental and physical state of relaxation. There are six steps involving exercises designed 
to make your body feel warm (dilation of the arteries) and heavy (actual relaxation of the 
muscles). After practicing these steps for a few months, you would then be ready for 
autogenic meditation. This involves picturing and holding certain images in the mind. 

Guided Imagery 

As with other letting-go techniques, guided imagery is designed to allow you to 
relax both your body and your mind. Guided imagery can be done alone, with one guider 
and one relaxer, or with a leader and a group. 

A comfortable position is the first necessity. Then you must decide what part of 
the body is tense and needs relaxation or whether there is a stressor affecting you that 
you need to work out. For instance, you have just had a disagreement with your boss. 
Your stomach feels tied up in knots and you can't stop thinking about the disagreement. 
Visualize your stomach and get a clear picture in your mind of its actually being tied 
up. Then, with your eyes closed and breathing regularly and gently, untie the knots in the 
picture in your mind. You will soon find that your stomach is beginning to relax. The 
clearer you can make the picture, the greater the effect will be. 

In order to stop thoughts of the disagreement from nagging at you, you could 
picture either a peaceful scene, completely removed from the situation or you could 
picture a resolution of the situation. Imagine sitting down with your boss and what you 
would say. If stressful thoughts continue to intrude, try visualizing a different scene. 
Make your images as vivid as you possibly can and remain seated comfortably with your 
eyes closed until you have finished the session. 

All the letting go techniques described above can reduce stress, discharge tensions, 
and release energy for productive work and personal interactions. Long-term benefits of 
these methods include producing a general sense of calmness and well-being that will 
enable you to react better to the necessary stresses of work. However, in order to get 
these benefits, you must practice the particular method of relaxation you choose on an 
almost daily basis. Meditation and relaxation must become a habit. 

B. Reducing Stress at the Organizational Level 

We have seen that a balanced diet, reasonable goals at work, supportive 
relationships, regular methods of relaxation, exercise practiced on a regular basis, and 
modifications in personal characteristics can lead the individual to less stress and greater 
productivity. However, we are not islands. We must work with others. Especially in the 
firefighting profession where teamwork is not only desirable but essential, reducing 
stress at the organizational level can have positive impact on efficiency and 
effectiveness as a unit. 



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The following ideas on stress reduction will involve changes and time, but the 
benefits will greatly outweigh any short-term difficulties. 

One critical contribution you can make as leader is to notice signs of stress that 
can best be relieved through the services of a professional counselor, and do all you can 
to facilitate the location and use of high-quality counseling services. Many communities 
have Employee Assistance Programs that can aid employees who are alcoholic, stressed 
due to grief, or off-center emotionally because of unexpected blows from many 
directions. You can work to overcome "macho" traditions that make it more difficult for 
employees to seek the help they need. 

It is especially important that you are prepared to work with counselors after 
particularly stressful emergency duty— mass casualty incidents or the death of children 
can haunt people for a lifetime if emotions are not well dealt with near the time of the 
incident. Become familiar with counseling services in your area so that you can 
recommend them with confidence when appropriate. 

One of the major stressors in a firefighter's life is the fact that he or she does not 
usually know what to expect when coming to work. Will there be a call? Will equipment 
maintenance be done today? A great deal of the uncertainty can be alleviated by 
planning and posting activities for shifts ahead of time. One or two days should be 
designated as "catch up" for adjustments caused by emergencies. 

A departmental exercise program would help firefighters maintain good physical 
condition, which not only reduces stress but also lessens their chance of injury during an 
emergency. Since the program is department wide, workers could encourage each other, 
building morale as well. If it is necessary to purchase equipment, it may be possible to 
get a discount by appealing to the community spirit of an equipment supply firm. 
Perhaps the local parks and recreation division could help in the design of an appropriate 
program. 

Since improper diets contribute to stress, an educational nutrition program could be 
made available for the firefighters. This could be arranged by working with nutrition 
specialists from a local hospital or clinic. 

Meetings should be scheduled on a regular basis to give firefighters a chance to 
discuss problems at work and give suggestions for solutions. This reduces stress because 
it gives workers a feeling that they have some degree of control, in the form of 
suggestions, over what happens at their place of work. (This can only happen, of course, 
if someone is willing to listen to their suggestions and implement those that have merit.) 

It is important to see that each individual has some degree of control and input as 
to how his or her role is carried out. Signs of departmental stress should alert you that 
some form of positive action must be taken to solve the problem before it gets out of 
control. 

Personnel changes are necessary, of course, but they do contribute to ambiguity 
and stress. It takes time to develop an effective small work group, so transfers should be 
undertaken only when absolutely necessary. When transfers are needed, careful 
preparation is needed to enable all parties to adjust to the new situation by knowing what 
they can expect. 

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Another key to reducing stress is the effective use of training and educational 
programs. Fire department education and training must provide both knowledge and 
skills. Knowing that one's skill levels are sharp provides increased confidence as well as 
competence. Training should also be provided on personal stress management 
techniques. The training should emphasize that stress is a problem at some time or 
another for everyone, that the solutions are not difficult, and that the result will be 
improved work performance as well as better interpersonal relationships and a good 
feeling about oneself. 

At the scene of an emergency, strong leadership is essential. Keeping the crew 
informed as often as possible about the situation will minimize uncertainty, while 
rotating personnel to less strenuous assignments will allow them a chance to release the 
tension that has built up and recover their energy. 

Stress is a part of life— in fact, a necessary part of life. The important thing is to 
be aware of excessive stress and take immediate action to alleviate it. 

C. Goal: Holistic Health 

What "good" stress management is really about is "wellness"— in the holistic sense. 
Holistic health, or "wellness," might be viewed as a positive state of well-being 
accomplished and maintained by keeping in balance the physical, social/psychological, 
and mental/spiritual dimensions of our life. 

You can envision the physical dimension as a straight line with extremes at either 
end. The line runs from a high level of wellness characterized by good physical health 
and an abundance of energy and vitality, to minor disorders, disabilities, and premature 
death. The line representing the social/psychological dimension ranges from happiness, 
contentment, and serenity with one's self and significant others to unhappiness, 
depression, and despair. The mental/spiritual dimension flows from a full feeling of 
integration, "wholeness," and peace to total alienation from others, one's world, and one's 
inner self. 

While our personal inclinations often lead us to emphasize only one of these lines, 
the fact is that all three are needed to complete a three-dimensional view— a "holistic" 
one— of our state of wellness. Whatever throws us out of balance on one line distorts the 
full picture, having impact immediately on the other dimensions. This means we need a 
systems approach to well-being. No one can be truly "healthy" without giving attention 
to all three dimensions. 

"Wellness" is not possible unless you are really "in charge" of your own life. 
Holistic health enables you to respond to negative stressors as challenges, opportunities 
for personal and professional growth. You experience yourself as responsible and 
capable, never a passive victim. To assess your inner balance, you need to examine your 
current lifestyle and determine— honestly— where on each of these three continuums you 
are. Consider where and how you need to grow to achieve a positive total life balance. 
Regular exercise, quality nutrition, and adequate sleep may provide positive results in 
the physical domain, but what about the other two? Improving your social or work 
relationships, joining the neighborhood or department ball team, or developing hobbies 
may provide positive movement on the social/psychological continuum, but what about 
the other two? Practicing a religion, meditating, or praying might enhance your spiritual 

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growth, but what about the other two? If your goal is holistic well-being, "the big 
picture," you should be prepared to take explicit steps to bring your life into 
balance — on the positive side of the three dimensional design we've created. 

The result could be the most valuable gift you could give to yourself (and those 
around you) ! 



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SUPPLEMENTARY READING 
FIRE SERVICE SUPERVISION: INCREASING PERSONAL EFFECTIVENESS 



UNIT FOUR: TIME MANAGEMENT 



SECTION I. TIME CHOICES AS EXPRESSIONS OF INDIVIDUALITY AND CONTEXT 

We all have all there is— yet there never seems to be enough of it. We make 
choices every day about how to spend time. Our choices reflect our individual style, 
characteristics, values, priorities, and goals. These time choices also reflect the 
priorities and goals of the organization in which we work, the management culture. 

Time management affects both your personal well-being and stress level and your 
level of accomplishment. Accomplishment includes the quality of what is done, how 
much is done, and what is done. Your decisions about time are critical for you and your 
workgroup. Yet, managers often feel so overwhelmed by immediate pressures— clearing 
whatever is on the desk, responding to needs of subordinates, talking on the phone— that 
they do not so much manage time as give it away or even lose it. By making your 
decisions about time conscious and controlled, you are already on the way to improved 
results— and less stress. 

Time choices are frequently made out of habit. Managing time effectively requires 
that you realize the individual factors affecting your choices. Then you must decide how 
you can best approach a certain task with your individual style. It is also vital to 
consciously recognize the role of organizational factors. Then, and only then, can you 
determine how to best manage your time to meet both your own goals and those of your 
management culture. 

Let's look first at how your personality affects your management of time. 

Type A vs. Type B 

The Type A person is a compulsive worker, tending to do everything personally 
rather than delegating responsibility. If you fit this description, it would be more 
effective if you did nothing on a task until you have thought through whether you can 
delegate some of it, working on only the most important activities. Learning to drop or 
delegate low-priority tasks in favor of high-priority ones directly related to your key 
responsibilities may save you a good deal of time. While Type A people enjoy activity, 
Type Bs thrive on their relationships, private thoughts, and feelings. The Type B person 
needs to guard against procrastination and must work on maintaining a schedule. Careful 
record-keeping for each responsibility or task will help keep assignments from "slipping 
through the cracks." 

Task-Oriented vs. People-Oriented 

Task-oriented people often enjoy long-term problems that keep them isolated from 
contact with other people while people-oriented types get bored quickly by paperwork or 
any job that keeps them from dealing with others on a face-to-face basis. The task- 
oriented manager may forget to motivate and involve coworkers. While this type of 
manager needs to work on seeing people as a key part of the task, the "people-oriented" 

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person needs to keep specific objectives clearly in mind in business interactions, and 
check to see if they were accomplished. Recognize which orientation you have and 
schedule your time so you do the jobs foreign to your nature when you are best able to 
give them your attention. 

Realistic vs. Idealistic 

Short-term, immediate goals are emphasized by the manager with a realistic style, 
while the importance of the future is downgraded. On the other hand, the idealistic 
manager tends to spend and use time on what is yet to be. Frequently, the idealist does 
not recognize time constraints that can destroy the effectiveness of all other work, while 
the realist focuses on the problems of today to the exclusion of vital long-range 
planning. Each needs to work on seeing the necessity and value of the "other half of his 
or her personal strength. 

Intensive vs. Extensive 

Intensive types are the sprinters of the world, while extensive people are the long- 
distance runners. Intensive activity tends to burn a person out, so that projects are 
frequently not completed. If you are such a manager, be sure you have selected your 
most important task to receive your full intensity! The extensive person can be just as 
productive as the intensive, but it takes him or her much longer to finish. This individual 
may need to schedule intermediate check points to apply enough pressure to assure 
optimum performance. Schedule periods of work, breaks, and deadlines to fit your style. 

Diffusion vs. Focused 

A manager with a diffusion style is stimulated by having new projects start while 
others are in midstream or nearing completion. A focused style means concentrating on 
only one project at a time. If you are a diffusion-style manager, start new projects while 
they are ripe, but make sure you have a step-by-step plan to keep them all moving 
toward completion. If you are a focused-style manager, choose the one project that will 
bring the best return on your time investment. Delegate additional projects to others in 
the department. However, be sure you receive regular reports so you know what is going 
on with projects that others are handling for you. 

Investment Style 

Four investment styles when dealing with money can be just as applicable to 
understanding the investment of your time. The gambler invests large amounts of time 
according to the pressures and opportunities of the moment. The investment is high, but 
the potential payoff is also very high. Taking time to think through options will enable 
the gambler to make better use of his or her time. The aggressive investor is willing to 
risk large amounts of time where a very large return is possible, but makes more 
conscious calculations about time use than the gambler. This person may need to check 
out the probable outcome of his or her investment more carefully— to consider the 
receptiveness of the management culture or community to the idea, for example. The 
moderate investor occasionally takes risks with time, but only after he or she has 
considered the implications from all possible angles. A very conservative investor , on 
the other hand, plans all time expenditures to prevent losses rather than maximize the 
possible returns. The conservative investor should consider his or her goals to see if good 

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opportunities are being missed. Recognizing your style and modifying it when the 
situation calls for a different style will help you make the most of your time investment. 

Internal and External Prime Time 

Internal prime time is that period of the day when you can do your most creative, 
concentrated work, while external prime time is the time when others are most available 
for decisions, inquiries, and information. Try to schedule your prime projects for those 
hours when you are best able to concentrate. Realize when the people you need to talk 
to or see have free time available, and schedule meetings and phone calls accordingly. 
Save routine matters, such as opening the mail or reading the paper or business 
magazines, for other than internal or external prime times. 

Key Responsibilities and Management Culture 

So far, we have discussed ways in which your individual style affects your use of 
time. However, the style, overall plan, and goals of your fire station or department have 
a tremendous impact on the efficient and effective use of time by everyone involved. To 
take just one element of the management culture, consider how your department's 
preferred communication pattern affects your time. Are decisions disseminated through 
the ranks during a meeting, or are memos announcing decisions sent to everyone? Are 
there endless chains of approval for purchase of even small supplies? Take time to study 
communication patterns in your department to see where time could be saved. 

The range of philosophy and overall mission of the department can also affect the 
way time is spent. Is the mission solely that of suppression, or is your department also 
involved in rescue? Are procedures clear regarding the mission? 

What is valued in your department and what are the rewards for a job well done? Is 
the warmth and support of the fire station personnel for each other emphasized or is 
competition emphasized? To what extent is the department dependent on each member's 
self discipline and to what extent is the work a team effort? Realizing that these 
elements of management culture have an effect on the management of time can be an 
important first step to making changes where necessary. 

Sadly, we often fail to address what we consider our key responsibilities as 
successfully as we know we can. Sometimes this is because we fail to think about our 
time choices and realize where our "time drains" occur. Sometimes it is simply because 
we take a reactive, rather than proactive, stance toward the culture of our 
organizations. Whatever our situation may be, we can take time to count our resources 
and devise a strategy to accomplish our most important objectives. 

SECTION II. DEVELOPING A TIME MANAGEMENT STRATEGY 

A. Guiding Principles of Time Management 

Save Time by Planning 

"When a man does not know what harbor he is heading for, no wind is the right 
one." The Roman philosopher Seneca had the right idea many centuries ago. Planning, a 
rational process that looks at where you want to go and how you intend to get there, is 

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vital in management. Until a plan is devised, there is no assurance that actions taken 
will lead to a goal. 

Managers frequently resist planning with the excuse that they don't have the time 
to plan ahead. Planning does take time, as well as concentrated thought and a 
willingness and ability to think about the future. But planning saves time in the long 
run. Planning is anticipating problems or situations that may arise, and taking steps to 
mitigate the problems and get the most out of the other situations. So, rather than 
spending all your time solving small crises on a day-to-day basis, prepare a long-range 
plan that will lend stability to the organization and guide the decisions that must be 
made. 

The planning process involves: 

• Analyzing the present situation (where I am now); 

• Developing relevant assumptions (what conditions are likely to exist within 
the time span of the plan); 

• Establishing objectives (what I want to achieve); 

• Developing alternatives (what different ways might I gain these objectives); 

• Making and implementing the decision; and 

• Establishing review and control procedures. 

Protect your time by setting concrete objectives and goals. Setting goals and 
objectives will help you decide what really must be done by you and which responsibilities 
can be delegated. Once you have set your goals and objectives, know in which direction 
to head. Then you must set priorities. Learn to say no, to yourself and others, in order 
to save your concentration for the tasks that really must be accomplished. 

E.B. Osborn, president of Economics Laboratory, Inc., has devised a plan sheet that 
is used by all managers in his company. They are provided with the sheet and encouraged 
to use it, but not forced to. The main objective of the plan sheet is to "furnish the 
executive with a tool for self-management." There are five categories on the sheet- 
phone, writing, general, meetings, and lunches. Osborn provides four tips for using the 
plan sheet: "Keep the plan sheet current; always schedule the most important subjects 
for handling first, numbering them in order of not just importance or priority but when 
they will fit best and be best executed; never yield to the temptation to clean up "small" 
items first, which is the pathway to frustration; and comb the plan sheet for items that 
can be delegated." 

Planning not only helps you set priorities in order to accomplish your goals and 
objectives, it also allows you control over your own time. You can then eliminate the 
feeling that things are piling up on you, that you can't possibly finish everything. When 
you plan, you control time, it does not control you. This attitude change is important 
because the frustration and stress relieved by taking a more relaxed attitude can allow 
you more creative, concentrated time and allow you to become more effective as well as 
more efficient. The old adage, 'The thinking time you do before you start a job will 
shorten the time you have to spend working on it," is still valid. 

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Many people think of planning as daydreaming, sitting back in the office chair and 
thinking about what will happen in the future. Alan Lakein, a time-management 
consultant, emphasizes that planning must involve writing. He suggests an ABC approach 
to planning. First, write a list of goals and objectives. Then, write a capital letter A 
next to those items that have a high value, a B for those with medium value, and a C for 
those with low value. In many cases, you will be guessing at assigning these relative 
values so the list should not be set in concrete. If halfway through an A task you decide 
the time involved is not worth the benefits at this point, change that time to a C 
priority. You need to set these priorities continually, considering the best use of your 
time at the present moment. 

No matter how busy you are, you do have time to plan. In fact, the less time you 
feel you have, the more important it is to plan your time carefully. 

Planning is usually most effective if you do it at the beginning or the end of the 
day. If you plan in the morning, your mind is fresh and you are less likely to be 
sidetracked as you go through the day with your priorities clearly in order. On the other 
hand, the advantage of planning at night is that you know what you have accomplished 
that day, which will help you select priorities for tomorrow. Another advantage is that 
your subconscious can work on developing ideas while you sleep so that you arrive at 
work ready for action. Either way, planning will keep you focused on your top priorities 
and allow you to get more accomplished in less time. 

Writing your plans down will have a great effect on your ability to carry them out. 
Several goal-setting aids, including a daily time analysis form, a telephone time manager, 
a weekly time management work plan, and a daily time management work plan are 
provided in your Student Manual . The daily plan will help keep you on course each day, 
while the weekly plan will allow you to evaluate that larger block of time. 

Give Priority to the "Vital Few" Tasks 

The Pareto principle, named after a nineteenth century Italian economist and 
sociologist, states that the significant items in a given group normally constitute a 
relatively small portion of the total items in the group. American project engineers 
applied this principle to inventory control and found that 20 percent of the inventory 
items normally comprise about 80 percent of the total value of the inventory. In other 
words, by analogy, only a small percentage of the things you have to do account for a 
very large percentage of the total benefits you could reap if everything on your desk got 
done. By concentrating on those critical tasks, you can reap rewards out of proportion to 
your efforts, while other tasks (such as phone conversations) sometimes absorb vast 
amounts of time with few benefits. By prioritizing , you can make the most of the time 
you have ! 

Give Priority to Management Functions 

Many managers have come up through the ranks and have advanced to their present 
position as a reward for work well done. However, there is a fundamental difference 
between managing and doing. Managers frequently spend a disproportionate amount of 
time doing rather than managing. Some reasons for this are that managers feel more 
comfortable working in their area of expertise; that managers want to feel they know all 
the details (the 'I can do it better myself syndrome); or insecurity about their position. 
Managing involves long-range planning, delegating responsibilities to others, and allowing 
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decisions to be made at the lowest level where the skill and knowledge exist to make that 
decision. 

As you rise from lower to higher management levels, more and more of your own 
time is spent on pure management functions and less on "doing." At the lower levels, 
technical skills are critical; at intermediate levels, interpersonal skills are critical; at 
upper levels, planning and organizational skills are critical. As you are promoted, talk to 
your new peer group about the time adjustments they found necessary to function effi- 
ciently at a new level. This can keep you from making the same mistakes. By 
recognizing the skills and tasks that are keys to success at your specific management 
level, and adjusting to the new requirements of a different management level, you can 
make the most effective time choices for you in your particular position. 

Avoid Business for Its Own Sake 

"Results are seldom proportional to the buckets of sweat generated," according to 
Robert Pearse of Boston University. There is a myth in our culture that the harder one 
works, the more work gets done. This is not true. We must distinguish between activity 
that produces results and activity that is done for the sake of activity alone. Careful 
planning will help you avoid this. 

Monitor Your Time 



After a study of Swedish managing directors, Sune Carlson concluded, "Up to now I 
imagined the boss as a bandmaster leading an orchestra. Now I know that this 
comparison is wrong, and I rather imagine the boss as a puppet whose strings are drawn 
by a crowd of unknown and unorganized people." 

Monitoring your time accurately will probably point up a few surprises. You will 
quickly realize that it is next to impossible to judge adequately how to spend your time 
until you write it down on a daily or weekly log. Although keeping track of your time 
may seem bothersome at first, it will save you time in the long run by allowing you to 
evaluate your use of time and change habits that are not producing results. 

Save Time Through Delegation 

As a manager, you are accountable for the accomplishment of specified duties and 
tasks, but no one says you must do them all yourself. Save time by delegating ! 

Delegation is often defined as the granting of authority to a subordinate to carry 
out an assigned task. In the process of delegating, the manager must clearly delineate 
the duties of the subordinate and the limits of the authority being granted. The latter 
may range from full authority to act to limited authority, or approval before action. The 
subordinate then becomes responsible for the task's completion. Effective delegation 
requires a balance between subordinate and supervisor governing assigned duties, 
authority, and responsibility that is appropriate to the situation, including such factors as 
the subordinate's level of experience and expertise and the task's importance. 
Remember, however, that it is the manager who remains accountable for the actions of 
his or her subordinates and for the task's ultimate accomplishment. Be sure that the 
feedback system you have set up is an efficient one that will enable you to make 



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adjustments at critical points without absorbing too much of your time, or leading the 
subordinate to feel he or she is not really trusted or responsible for the task. 

Some managers fail to delegate, or delegate only minimally. They may fear a loss 
of power. They may feel threatened by a subordinate's good performance. Or they may 
feel that subordinates lack the competence to complete the assignment. They may be 
inexperienced as managers, or they may be plain workaholics. Whatever their reasons, 
these managers are not effectively using their most important resource: their people. 
Yet, the art of management as we have defined it— the accomplishment of organizational 
objectives through people— demands this trust. When a manager is truly afraid to 
delegate, something is radically wrong. It is time to think deeply about why delegation 
seems so impossible, and begin to remove the barriers. 

With the exception of clearly managerial duties, almost any task or problem can be 
successfully delegated. Tasks that should be considered for delegation may be 
remembered by the catch phrase, "Something old, something new, something borrowed, 
something blue." "Something old": A new approach may well solve an old problem. 
"Something new": A new task that emerges suddenly on the horizon and threatens to 
destroy your careful planning might well be delegated. "Something borrowed": A task 
not part of your division's usual responsibilities should also be considered for delegation. 
Finally, "something blue": A task that is a royal pain for you personally may or may not 
be for someone else. In most cases, from the perspective of organizational efficiency, 
better them than you. Your responsibility as a manager is to make certain the tasks are 
completed as prescribed and the problems solved, not necessarily to do everything 
yourself. 

How does one "successfully" delegate? It begins with knowing you rself and your 
subordinates : strengths, weaknesses, interests, and commitments. Then, it's a matter of 
assigning the right tasks— clearly defined— to the right people and granting each the 
degree of authority (and freedom) necessary to fulfill his or her responsibility. 

The managerial role becomes one of monitoring the subordinate's activity at 
scheduled intervals to ascertain progress and offer guidance as requested or necessary. 
(It is important to let them do it— remember, you're developing "follow ership" in people 
who can grow through experience !) Several notes of caution are in order. Do not 
delegate those tasks that are in fact exclusively a managerial function. Secondly, do not 
have so many assignments given out that monitoring them becomes impossible. Lastly, 
always give credit for a job well done. 

There are many benefits to mastering the art of delegation. The tasks are 
completed and the problems solved— competently and on time. That makes the manager 
look good, and actually gives him or her more power. Secondly, the subordinates may be 
"motivated." They have successfully completed projects and seen their work 
recognized. They have often learned something or improved skills as a result of the 
task. And, it saves the manager time to address top organizational priorities, enhancing 
effectiveness and results ! 



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B. Combatting Time Thieves 

Internal Time Thieves 

Haste . Impatience with detail is one of the major causes of haste. Rather than 
doing it quickly, take time to get the project right the first time. ("Why is it that there's 
never enough time to do it right, but always enough time to do it over?") Take time to 
plan, it will alleviate the problem of haste. Delegate more and attempt to do less 
operational work yourself. 

Lack of planning . Failure to see the benefit of planning can be a time thief. 
Recognize that although planning does take time, it always saves time in the long run. 
Planning enables you to emphasize results, not just activity for its own sake. If you have 
had success without planning, realize that success may have occurred in spite of, and not 
because of, the methods used. 

Management by crisis . Continual small crises that interrupt your day often result 
from a lack of planning. Ineffective "management by crisis" can also be caused by 
unrealistic time estimates and a reluctance of subordinates to break bad news. Allowing 
time for interruptions and encouraging fast transmission of information as essential for 
timely corrective action are two solutions to this problem. 

Lack of delegation . Fear of both inadequacy and incompetence among your 
subordinates can lead to a time-wasting lack of delegation. Train your workers, and 
allow them to make and learn from their mistakes. Delegate fully to competent 
subordinates, and give them credit for a job well done. If there is a work overload on 
your subordinates, balance the workload by staffing up or reordering priorities. 

Routine and trivia . Concentrating on routine and trivial matters can waste an 
enormous amount of time. Set your goals and objectives and concentrate on them. 
Delegate nonessential matters and then give your subordinates the lead. Judge them by 
results , rather than criticizing methods or details of their work. 

Paperwork. Shuffling paper around a desk can make you feel you are making 
progress if the pile is smaller at the end of the day, but did you really accomplish 
anything worthwhile? Have assistants screen your mail and telephone calls to determine 
what you really need to do yourself and what can be delegated. 

Too much reading . There is a knowledge explosion, and it is important to read 
professional journals and newspapers. However, you must learn to read selectively so 
that you can make the best use of your reading time. Learning speed reading also helps. 

Duplication of effort . The first step in reducing duplication of effort is to locate 
the source of duplication. Point out the problem to the people involved. Make sure 
everyone has a detailed job description and that lines of communication are kept open. 

Indecision . A lack of confidence in the facts or an insistence on having all the 
facts can lead to indecision. You may wish to improve your fact-finding procedures to 
increase confidence in the facts. However, you may also need to accept some risks as 
inevitable. Sometimes, as firefighters well know, you have to go ahead without having 
all the facts. Fear of error may also be a cause of indecision. Use mistakes as a learning 

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process so the same mistake won't be made again. Set up a rational decisionmaking 
process involving getting the facts, setting goals, investigating alternatives and negative 
consequences, making the decision, and implementing it. 

Procrastination . A tendency to delay unpleasant decisions or actions is a common 
time thief. To avoid this and help you tackle a very large or unpleasant task, break the 
task into smaller objectives and activities. Keep plugging away at these smaller tasks 
until you have done enough of them to make the large task seem more manageable. 
(Labein calls these little tasks that make holes in giant projects, "Swiss cheese" tasks.) 
Eventually you will see enough progress so that you are not overwhelmed by the entire 
project. Give yourself an incentive to work on unpleasant projects— perhaps a lunch at 
your favorite restaurant after a morning spent on a task you wanted to put aside. 

Q vercom mitment . Learning how to say no is the first important step in avoiding 
the time thief of overcommitment. The second step is to set your priorities clearly and 
then stick with them. It is usually better to do fewer things well— than more things 
poorly. 

Overcontrolling subordinates . It is extremely important for a manager to be aware 
of the effect he or she has on a subordinate's time. Looking over a worker's shoulders at 
every detail of a project not only wastes the manager's time, but also wastes the worker's 
time when he or she must stop and explain everything to the manager. Managers also 
waste time when they do not give clear instructions, which results in work not being 
completed properly. 

Lack of procedures for routine matters . There are routine decisions to be made 
and activities to do almost daily in every work place. Search the schedules of your 
workers as well as your own to handle routine matters in the least amount of time, while 
ensuring they are taken care of. 

Perfectionism . The problem with putting undue value on perfection is that time is 
wasted on perfecting even trivial matters. Learn to delegate routine matters and then 
don't worry about the details of the job. Look to results, not methods. An obsession with 
perfection also inhibits the ability to risk, both for the manager and his or her 
subordinates. Without the freedom to risk, and even to fail, creativity and innovation 
die. 



External Time Thieves 

Drop-in visitors . An open door policy does not necessarily mean that your door is 
physically open at all times. Close your door regularly for periods when you need intense 
concentration. Train your staff to screen all visitors discreetly. In order to cut a visit 
short, stand up when the person enters and remain standing. Preset a time limit on the 
visit and "foreshadow" the end. Distinguish between being available for business and for 
socializing. 

Meetings . Prior to calling a meeting, evaluate whether it is really necessary, what 
results will come from it, how long it should last, and whether you need to participate. 
Don't call a meeting without a specific purpose. Provide participants with an agenda 



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including subjects to be discussed, information to be presented, and specific time limits 
well in advance of the meeting. Open and close the meeting on time and allow no time- 
wasting interruptions. 

Telephone calls . Screen, delegate, and consolidate your telephone calls. Set aside 
specific times each day for making and returning nonessential calls. Keep business 
conversations on track and don't exceed the time limits you have set. Make the 
telephone work for you, not against you. 

Disorganized records . Although having stacks and stacks of papers piled on your 
desk or in your office may make you feel accomplished, the clutter often distracts, and 
you may find yourself just shuffling papers from one pile to the other without 
accomplishing anything. Once you get a piece of paper, a report, or a letter, 
immediately decide whether it is an A, B, or C priority. Keep only the As on your desk. 
Make an immediate decision on the Bs and Cs or relegate them to one of your drawers 
until you have time to handle them. This will keep the clutter off your desk and allow 
you to concentrate on the important tasks first. 

Employee requests for help . You can minimize employee interruptions with 
questions or problems without becoming an ogre. Try spending more time training new 
employees and always being sure that you give complete directions for particular tasks. 
Delegate as much of the training to their coworkers as possible. 

Having to redo tasks assigned to others . Here again, a proper amount of time spent 
on training will eliminate much time redoing the work of your subordinates. When you 
give instructions for a task, have the employee explain the task to you in his or her own 
words. Correct any misinterpretations that may exist at the time, and provide enough 
check points to avoid "getting off track." 

Reverse delegation . Reverse delegation, when the subordinate comes in with a 
problem and asks the manager to solve it, can happen for a number of reasons. 
Frequently, the subordinate wants to avoid risk, is afraid of criticism, or lacks 
confidence or the necessary information and resources to handle the task. Managers 
accept responsibilities of their subordinates at times because they either want to be 
needed or they are unable to say no to requests for help. Managers need to encourage 
responsibility for decisions among their subordinates and give them adequate information 
to make those decisions. Recognizing that you have been caught in the trap of reverse 
delegation is the first step toward solving the problem. 

Learning to manage your time efficiently and effectively involves recognizing 
where your time is spent now, deciding what your goals and objectives are within the 
framework of your management culture, . planning the best use of your time to reach 
those goals and objectives, and learning to delegate responsibility, concentrate your own 
time, and how to say no a lot. You can control your time ! 



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